Lampard celebrates Lampard Day with timely brace

Frank Lampard

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

The Bronx – It was Frank Lampard’s Day. The scoresheet and the Mayor’s Office said so.

After the Mayor’s Office proclaimed Sept. 1 to be Frank Lampard Day in honor of his 300th career goal, Lampard scored twice in the second half to give New York City FC a vital win Thursday evening. Lampard was presented with an honorary jersey by sporting director Claudio Reyna before the game and said he felt honored by the club.

“That’s what makes a special club and a special place,” Lampard said. “I really appreciated that and from there it was to win the game.”

Lampard put NYCFC ahead twice. His 85th minute goal from David Villa gave The Pigeons the 2–1 lead but it would be his goal three minutes into stoppage time that clinched the win. Lampard faked to his left inside the area before finishing into the bottom corner and past D.C. United’s Bill Hamid.

Lampard now has 11 goals in 16 appearances this season to go with his 302 career goals.

“Last minute winners are always the best ones and I never get bored of that,” he said. “That’s what you work for. I was injured earlier in the season and while you’re struggling in the gym, you dream of moments like that and that’s what inspires you to keep working. Thankfully, I’ve had a few of them since I’ve been back but that was the best of them.

“It was important for us to get the win.”

NYCFC picked up 27 of their 44 points with Lampard in the lineup. Though Lampard missed the first 12 matches of the season, he is now eighth in the league’s Golden Boot table.

Once labeled the ‘worst DP in MLS history,’ Lampard left the field Thursday evening to a standing ovation from the NYCFC supporters — and that tells the story of his dramatic resurrection this season.

“I’m feeling stronger and fresher. I never felt like I had a point to prove to the people on the outside. I always had a point to prove to myself,” he said. “I don’t want this to be a club I come to at this point in my career and it doesn’t work out. I want to do everything I can to make it work. I have that desire so hopefully I can get us into the playoffs and push on from there.”