NEW YORK, July 24-Chelsea’s all-time top scorer and England international midfielder Frank Lampard has signed to play for Major League Soccer 2015 expansion side New York City FC, the club announced Thursday.
Lampard spent his first six seasons at West Ham United with only a brief loan to Swansea in his debut season. He joined Chelsea in 2001 and bagged 211 goals for the Blues as well as 29 in 106 caps for England.
During Lampard’s tenure, Chelsea won Premier League titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010, the FA Cup in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 as well as the 2012 Champions League crown.
Lampard, 36, joins a team that signed Spanish star David Villa to a three-year deal last month and is guided by sporting director Claudio Reyna, a retired US star, and coached by Jason Kreis.
The club, a joint effort between Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and English Premier League side Manchester City, will launch its inaugural season next year, playing out of Yankee Stadium until a planned new park is completed.
Villa helped Spain capture the 2010 World Cup and helped Atletico Madrid win this year’s La Liga crown. In his stint with Barcelona, the Spanish side won La Liga crowns in 2011 and 2013 and a 2011 Champions League title.
Villa, who retired from international play after the World Cup, will play on loan at Australia’s Melbourne City ahead of joining New York next year.