N.Y. Soccer Team Adds Chelsea’s Lampard for MLS Debut

New York City Football Club added its second European soccer veteran in two months, giving Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard a two-year contract.

The 36-year-old was introduced today at a press event in Brooklyn. The highest-scoring midfielder in English Premier League history, he’s played the last 13 seasons with Chelsea. The signing comes a month after the Major League Soccer team signed 32-year-old David Villa, the Spanish national squad’s all-time leading scorer.

“I’ve been watching games in the MLS for a long time,” Lampard said today. “It’s a great opportunity and a great challenge for me.”

Terms of the contract were not announced.

NYCFC is controlled by English soccer champion Manchester City and will play at the home of part owner New York Yankees starting in 2015. Orlando will also join the league next year, with three more teams, including clubs in Miami and Atlanta, set to be added in 2020, taking the total to 24. Commissioner Don Garber has said he wants the MLS, now in its 19th season, to be one of the world’s elite leagues by 2022.

Lampard played 106 times for the English national team, including at this year’s World Cup in Brazil. He was Chelsea’s captain when the west London club won its first Champions League title in 2012.

In total, Lampard scored 211 goals in 648 appearances for Chelsea, according to the NYCFC website. He was the first Premier League midfielder to score 20 goals in a single season, and won three league titles and four F.A. Cup crowns.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net Christopher Elser, Jay Beberman

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