It’s been just over a year since Major League Soccer, Manchester City and the New York Yankees came together to announced New York City FC as the 20th expansion team to MLS, set to join the league in 2015, and with nine months left until they hit the field in Yankee Stadium next March, New York’s newest sports team is wasting no time making big moves.
As already mentioned on Empire Writes Back, NYCFC is close to signing former Barcelona and Athletico Madrid striker David Villa to a three-year contract. Villa is reportedly in Manchester today to take a physical before the signing can become official.
That alone would be a big move for a franchise that hasn’t even played a game yet, and like I said, is still nine months away from doing so.
But it gets even better.
According to multiple reports, NYCFC is also expected to sign former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard on a deal that is reportedly worth significantly less than the £150,000-a-week that he picked up at Chelsea.
Lampard joined Villa in Manchester today to complete some of the other formalities of their move to the States.
Both Villa and Lampard are heading to the World Cup next month — Lampard with England and Villa with Spain — so they have both taken the time out of their busy schedules to work out their deals with NYCFC.
Not long ago, coming to MLS would have been a joke for many of the world’s best players, but with the growth in the league over the past five years, MLS is becoming bigger and bigger each season. Villa and Lampard will, hopefully, pave the path for even more talented players to come play in America in the coming years.