Lampard hat tricks leads NYCFC over 10-man Rapids

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

The Bronx — Almost a year to the day since making his debut, Frank Lampard completed his atonement with a hat-trick to carry New York City FC to a convincing 5–1 win over the Colorado Rapids Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Lampard and Tony Taylor each scored in the first half for The Pigeons who played the final 53 minutes up a man after Rapids midfielder Michael Azira was ejected on two yellow card infractions. Steven Mendoza and Lampard combined to score three goals in nine minutes during the second half as NYCFC snapped the Rapids’ 15-game unbeaten streak.

“I thought we played really well even though it was difficult with the game being broken up,” Lampard said. “Overall, a great team performance.”

Head coach Patrick Vieira had to serve a touchline ban after being sent off during NYCFC’s match against the New York Red Bulls. David Villa, Ethan White, Federico Bravo and R.J. Allen were also suspended for the match, forcing City to retool its backline and forward corps. Taylor got the start up front and assistant coach Cristian Lattenzio handled touchline duties.

Diego Martinez started at left back and Jason Hernandez moved to right back. Though the central pairing of Jefferson Mena and Frédéric Brillant started the match, Mena was substituted at halftime with an apparent hamstring injury, allowing Maxime Chanot to make his club debut.

“We have to give them great credit because the way they played from the first minute until the last especially after the game against the Red Bulls shows they have great character,” Lattenzio said.

Lampard’s goal in the 28th minute was his sixth in eleven appearances this season. Martinez made an overlapping run down left wing to get to the loose ball and cross for the far post. Thomas McNamara flicked it on for Lampard to re-direct it in. Immediately afterwards, the match officials spotted lightning and suspended the match.

The delay did little to change the momentum of the match and NYCFC would double their lead through Taylor’s goal. McNamara dribbled down the left and crossed for Taylor whose first shot was blocked before he finished the rebound. It was Taylor’s first goal since the season opener.

“It was very for me and plenty other guys to step up,” Taylor said. “We just had to continue working hard every day and be ready when our name was called.”

NYCFC completed the rout with three goals in nine minutes. In the 75th, Steven Mendoza stole the ball from Eric Miller, faked inside the area and shot into the bottom corner. Jack Harrison led a counter attack before laying off for Lampard to curl his shot in. Harrison was hauled down inside the box and Lampard finished his hat-trick and the first hat-trick in NYCFC history with a powerful penalty.

“I didn’t realize it and we have a short history but it’s a great accolade for me,” Lampard said. “When I’m playing well and feeling good, hopefully I can score goals. I’ve managed to do it since I’ve been fit. To the three goals, personally, I feel great but for the team more importantly, twice in recent weeks we’ve lost a game and come straight back the next week and win. That’s what a team with a status up the table wants to do.”

With the win, NYCFC now lead the Eastern Conference by five points. Their 36 points from 23 matches is one short of their total for all of 2015. They will travel to face the San Jose Earthquakes next Friday night.

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  • i dont care

    is fat frank still the worst signing in MLS history? he’s not the best but there’s surely been worst

    • Jimbo

      Rafa

      • slowleftarm

        Yeah I haven’t been shy about mocking Fat Frank but he’s already a better signing than Rafa who got sent off on purpose in the playoffs two consecutive years.

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    25,711

    • The Realist

      In a city of 8mm, it’s not that hard I guess to find 25k euro snobs, hipsters and A-holes. I’ll bet none of them wanted to sit next to Fat Larry just the same.

      • Larry\’s A Simpleton

        well that doesnt say much for that steaming pile of poop out there in nassua county. u know. that authentic team with the world famous brand that got a whopping 3,ooo.

        l…o…effn…l…!!!

        #SUXTOBEAF.COSMOSFANBOY!!!

  • Jonathan

    Fat Frankie hahahahahahahahaha a joke of a team