New York City Football Club midfielder Frank Lampard is finally showing fans on this side of the pond what fans in England saw for years.
Lampard, the highest scorer in English Premier League history, was voted Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month by fans on MLSsoccer.com for the month of July of the 2016 MLS season.
In the month of July, Lampard scored six goals and added one assist, bringing his scoring total to eight goals on the season. The midfielder led New York City FC to a 4-2-0 record during the month as the team sits atop the Eastern Conference standings. NYCFC is now 6-1-0 in matches where Lampard records a goal or assist, a feat he has accomplished in seven of the past eight games.
Lampard began the month in winning fashion, contributing an assist in NYCFC’s 2-0 victory over rival New York Red Bulls on July 3, the team’s first ever derby victory. With his squad already leading, Lampard made a key pass downfield leading to David Villa’s goal in the 66th minute to give New York City FC a two goal advantage.
Days later, NYCFC extended its franchise-best winning streak to four matches with a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 6. Lampard scored the winning goal in the 58th minute, placing himself perfectly in front of goal and deflecting a Tommy McNamara cross off his leg and into the back of the net.
Lampard once again found the back of the net in a 3-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park on July 10. With NYCFC trailing by a goal in the 14th minute, Lampard received a pass in front of goal from teammate Ronald Matarrita, sending a left-footed strike past diving goalkeeper Tim Melia to bring the match even at 1-1.
Lampard would go on to score in his third consecutive match on July 17, placing an exclamation mark on NYCFC’s impressive 3-1 victory over Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium. With NYCFC leading 2-1, Lampard collected a Villa pass in the box, battling a defender and sending a deflected shot attempt over goalkeeper Evan Bush’s head for the final score of the day.
Lampard’s final performance of the month proved to be a landmark one as he scored the first hat trick in New York City FC history in a dominant 5-1 victory over Colorado Rapids at Yankee Stadium on July 30. In a beautiful set of passing, Diego Martinez crossed the ball into the box to Tommy McNamara, who redirected the ball with an accurate header directly to an outstretched Lampard, who easily finished for a 1-0 advantage in the 28th minute.
NYC FC had an odd man rush up the field in the 81st minute, and Jack Harrison dribbled downfield, dishing off to Lampard in the box who then sent a powerful shot far post past goalkeeper Tim Howard for a 4-0 lead. Lampard would then complete his first MLS hat trick with a penalty kick goal in the 84th minute to extend New York City’s lead to 5-0.
NYC FC Ties San Jose
New York City FC and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 0-0 draw at Avaya Stadium Friday night.
NYC FC goaltender Josh Saunders made four saves to earn his sixth shutout of the season.
With the point, NYC FC’s record is now 10-7-7, 37 points, and they extended their lead in the East to four points in front of second place Toronto FC. San Jose (6-6-10) remains in eighth place in the West with 28 points.
“Yes, I’m happy with the point,” NYC FC head coach Patrick Vieira said. “Especially looking at the way we played, going back to New York with the point, I’m happy with that, yes.”
Jack Harrison had NYCFC’s first quality scoring chance five minutes in when he had an open attempt from 20 yards out that was wide to the left of Earthquakes goalie David Bingham.
Saunders came up big twice in the first half, first kicking away a chance by Alberto Quintero and then parrying away a point-blank shot by Anibal Godoy. Saunders also did well to deny Chad Barrett with a quarter hour to go.
Steven Mendoza had a pair of chances in the final nine minutes, but Bingham dived to save his attempt from 17 yards out in the 81st minute. The San Jose goalie did well to come off his line with three minutes remaining to cut off Mendoza’s angle as the substitute shot wide.
“We used to concede a lot as well.” Vieira said. “And we didn’t concede tonight, and I was really pleased with the clean sheet. But I think we have to give a credit to the other team. They played really well. They made it really difficult for us. It was really difficult for us to play. And we are going back home with a point and I am really satisfied with that point.”
“Tonight was a tough match,” NYC FC defender Jason Hernandez said. “I thought that San Jose made it difficult for us to play. That is kinda the motto of this franchise, they make it difficult for you and they worked their socks off for 90 minutes. They made it hard on us and I thought we tried to do some good things and create some chances but overall 0-0 was a fair result.”