In an announcement that came as a surprise to nobody, NYCFC have confirmed that Frank Lampard won't be starting the season in MLS. Instead, he'll remain in England where he's been contributing to Manchester City's defense of their Premier League crown. Here's the NYCFC announcement:
New York City FC can confirm that Frank Lampard’s stay with Manchester City has been extended up to the end of Manchester City’s season, enabling his continued participation in both domestic and European campaigns.
The Club can also confirm that he will therefore not be joining the New York City FC’s squad for the beginning of the MLS 2015 season. His preparations for the forthcoming MLS campaign will see him contribute to Manchester City FC in all competitions of the ongoing season.
His exact starting date with New York City FC will be confirmed as the EPL and MLS seasons unfold.
Frankly, I think everyone expected this to happen once Lampard started scoring goals in City's title chase. It's a major reason I'm surprised that Don Garber chose to accept a bid involving the Premier League club's ownership, as NYCFC was always going to play second fiddle to the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
As far as the Cosmos are concerned, this won't likely have too much impact on the pitch, If the club eventually draws NYCFC in the U.S. Open Cup, Lampard's contributions to Manchester City will be over, and he'll likely be available for selection. The move has been generating quite a bit of negative press about the ownership situation though, and that sort of attention will present an interesting opportunity for the Cosmos to try to exploit. Here's hoping they do.