Frank Lampard scored the first-ever hat trick in New York City Football Club history, as they ran out the Colorado Rapids, 5-1, on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Lampard now has eight goals in the last eight games dating back to June 18 against Philadelphia, most in the MLS in that span.
In the 28th minute, Lampard came down the right side, and buried a cross from Tommy McNamara to make it 1-0, right before lightning caused a severe weather delay.
When play resumed, Tony Taylor broke through traffic in the box and slipped one under Colorado goaltender Tim Howard to give NYC FC a 2-0 edge going into the half.
In the 75th minute, Steven Mendoza netted his second goal of the season, as he stole a pass intended for Colorado defender Eric Miller, who slipped on the wet field, and Mendoza cut inside before scoring back across his body.
in the 81st minute, NYC FC’s 19-year old sensation Jack Harrison started a rush up the field on the right side, and got it to Lampard at the top of the box, and he fired it by Howard to make it 4-0.
“I’m just trying to get myself free and move the ball as fast as possible from there,” Harrison said of his mindset on the fast break. “Josh (Saunders) does a great job and getting the ball out of the back quickly and that’s great for us in the attacking third.”
Just three minutes later, Harrison was taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick, which Lampard took to secure the hat trick and make it 5-0.
“Really happy, I didn’t realize that,” Lampard said of his hat trick being the first in team history. “I know it’s very short history but it’s a great accolade for me as a person. I’m very happy and when I’m playing well, feeling good, obviously I can score goals, I’ve manage to do since I’ve been fit. To the three goals personally feel great but for the team more importantly, twice now in recent weeks we lost a game and come straight back the next week and won. And that’s what team who wants to stay on top of the table must do.”
“I thought he put in a good performance today,” Harrison said of Lampard. “He showed true leadership out there as the captain. He showed that out in Chelsea and he showed that to us out here today. We needed him out here today and he’s a key part of our success as a team. He’s been a great mentor to me and to see him do so well now as he’s scoring goals, it’s a big accomplishment and I hope it continues going forward.”
NYC FC came within a minute of a clean sheet, as Colorado’s Shkelzen Gashi scored in the 92nd minute to get them on the board.
This was NYC FC’s sixth win in their last eight games and they improved to 10-7-6, which extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference with 36 points, five ahead of the second-place Red Bulls. Colorado (10-3-8) had their 15-match unbeaten streak snapped, dating back to a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on April 9.
This was a nice rebound performance from NYC FC after they lost 4-1 at the Red Bulls last Sunday.
“It was important for us to come back strong, especially after the defeat [last week],” Harrison said. “Especially with us being at home, it was very important for us to come out here and win.”