New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has inked a deal with MLS to join expansion side New York City FC as a Designated Player, it was announced Thursday.
Lampard becomes NYCFC's second Designated Player capture of the summer after the club unveiled David Villa as its first-ever signing in June.
"I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world," the 36-year-old said in a statement. "The passion of the nation's fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City - I just can't wait to get started and be part of it."
Lampard joins NYCFC on the back of a 13-season stint at Chelsea where he captured a wealth of individual and team accolades.
Since joining the Blues in 2001, Lampard guided the club to three Premier League titles (2005, 2006 and 2010), four FA Cups trophies (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012), one Champions League title (2012) and one Europa League title (2013). He was named the Premier League Player of the Season in 2005 and 2006 and is Chelsea's all-time leading scorer with 211 goals.
Lampard is also a former England international with 106 caps to his name. He featured in three consecutive World Cup tournaments since 2006 and captained the side in this summer's edition for its 0-0 draw with Costa Rica on June 24.
Per league and team rules, details of the contract were not disclosed. Plans of a rumored loan move for Lampard similar to Villa's with Australian side Melbourne City FC before NYCFC makes its MLS debut in 2015 were not confirmed.