Lampard was meant to join up with NYCFC’s other star signing David Villa in March, but with the former Chelsea star now staying in England, it will mean MLS support from overseas will not reach the heights they could have, at least not yet.
The rapid growth of MLS has been staggering in recent years, and Lampard was just a couple of months away from becoming the latest England superstar to join the league.
That would have seen even more heads turned by football fans in the UK, but the decision to snub New York City in favour of Manchester City has to be labelled as an embarrassment.
It sends the wrong signals across the globe and Manchester City have shown that they have little respect for their partner club New York City, or MLS for that matter.
Major League Soccer will continue to rise, with or without Lampard, but audiences in England may not reach the levels we had hoped to see from March.
It’s a setback. Hopefully nothing more damaging than that, and MLS will continue to pick up supporters from around the world as it is already one of the most entertaining league’s on the planet.
But Lampard has slowed down that growth with his decision to stay in England. Missing a historic first ever game in MLS with New York City will not go down well with supporters who have already bought shirts with his name on the back, as well as season tickets in the hope that they would see him play from March.
The fans will demand answers, and lessons have to be learned. Manchester City must take New York City more seriously if the club is to succeed in MLS.
How will Lampard’s decision to stay in England affect the growth of MLS?