MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer Regular Season – FC Dallas vs. New York City FC

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, September 12 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: FC Dallas 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – New York City FC 7/2

Match Preview

FC Dallas host expansion franchise New York City FC on Saturday night as they look to cut the four point difference at the top of the Western Conference.

Dallas have the potential to top the Supporters’ Shield standings if they win both their games in hand on Vancouver Whitecaps.

They look to have bounced back from a recent dip in form after back-to-back wins they mean business and will feel confident heading into this one.

FC Dallas’ record in MLS: P26 W13 D5 L8

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New York City FC are at the opposite end of the MLS standings, with just one win in their last six, reflecting a difficult month for City.

NYCFC have failed to register an away win since the fifth of july, when they defeated Montreal Impact 2-1. And as such have slipped down the Eastern Conference.

New acquisition Frank Lampard has struggled to make much of an impact for his side and NYCFC look short of the playoffs this term, despite still being in with a shot.

New York City FC’s record in MLS: P27 W7 D7 L13

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Team News

FC Dallas may be without duo Mauro Diaz and Dan Kennedy who are both suffering with minor injuries. Bakary Soumare is also a doubt with a concussion.

New York City FC are missing George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt. Javier Calle, Khiry Shelton and Mehdi Ballouchy are all doubts.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/W/W

New York City FC’s last five in MLS: L/W/D/L/L

Key Stat: FC Dallas have won five of their last six at home in MLS.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Columbian winger is proving one of the most exciting talents in MLS and his pace and dribbling have drawn in many suitors from Europe, stopping him will be a priority for NYC on Saturday night.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 3-1 New York City FC – Dallas will be favourites for this one as they are extremely consistent at home. New York may cause problems for the MLS title contenders but we expect Dallas to ease to three points.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew 

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, August 29 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City 6/5 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus Crew 2/1

Match Preview

Saturday sees a repeat of last week’s midweek fixture as New York City FC play host to Columbus Crew. Last week’s reverse fixture saw honours end even as it finished 2-2 at MAPFRE Stadium.

New York City FC come into this one off the back of a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Supporters’ Shield leaders LA Galaxy last weekend, and will be hoping to grab three points as they try to remain contenders for a playoff place in the Eastern Conference.

That heavy loss was a blow but they were not the first, and won’t be the last team to be thumped by the Galaxy and so an improved showing is expected here.

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NYCFC are still waiting for their team to click and with Frank Lampard still not a regular in the side, it remains difficult to see them making the playoffs at their first attempt.

New York City FC’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W7 – D7 – L12

Columbus Crew are one of the strongest sides in the Eastern Conference and have all but cemented their spot in the playoffs with eight games to go.

Sitting in third in the East, the Crew have been a force at home but have had their struggles on the road this term, winning just twice in 12 games.

They do, however, boast the league’s leading goalscorer in Kei Kamara, who has an incredible 18 goals so far this season and he remains a constant threat for opposition defences. As long as he is healthy, the Crew have a chance at MLS Cup glory.

Columbus Crew’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W10 – D8 – L8

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Team News

New York City FC will be without George John, Tony Taylor, Connor Brandt, Javier Calle and Mehdi Ballouchy, who all miss out through injury. Frank Lampard and Khiry Shelton remain doubts.

Columbus Crew have Sergio Campbell missing with a calf strain and Emanuel Pogatetz is doubtful with a knee sprain. Jack McInerney is out through suspension.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: L/L/W/D/L

Columbus Crew’s last five: D/L/W/D/W

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have only lost two of their last twelve matches.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard has been sensational so far this season and another stellar performance could lead his side closer to the playoffs as points become increasingly vital.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Columbus Crew – New York City now possess the tools to attack anyone in the league. With the likes of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo now providing much needed experience, they will expect to seal another three important points in front of their own fans here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, August 23 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/9 – Draw 18/5 – New York City 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host New York City FC on Sunday in a standout MLS fixture. This will be the first time these franchise’s have ever faced each other and the potential reunion of the Frank Lampard vs Steven Gerrard midfield battle makes this game the most highly anticipated of Week 25.

LA Galaxy come into this game top of the Western Conference and in fine form after winning their last three matches, scoring eight goals in the process.

The Galaxy have managed to score 22 times in their last five home games – that is an average of 4.4 goals in each MLS game at StubHub Center, which is incredible. The reigning MLS Cup holders have only lost one of their 13 home matches this season which just goes to show how tough it is going to be for NYCFC to take all three points away from StubHub on Sunday.

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New York City come into this game on a two-game unbeaten streak as they beat Eastern Conference leaders DC United before drawing 2-2 against Columbus on Wednesday night.

With NYCFC currently sat in seventh position in the Eastern Conference, they will be looking to be only the fourth side to take points away from the StubHub Center this season to boost their playoff chances with the end of the regular season just around the corner.

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On average New York City conceed 1.25 goals in every away game and with the attacking dominance that the Galaxy have shown at home this season, NYCFC will most certainly have to shore things up at the back to stand any chance of success in this one.

English fans will be hoping to see Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard face off against each other in midfield once more, but Lampard’s fitness concerns mean that it’s not guaranteed.

Team News

LA Galaxy are still without goalkeeper Brian Perk for the remainder of the season. Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic and Todd Dunivant all missed the win over FC Dallas and are doubts for the NYCFC game. Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos will all start, while Gyasi Zardes is expected to despite transfer rumours linking with a move to Europe.

New York City FC remain without long-term absentees George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt. Javier Calle is out with a hamstring injury. Khiry Shelton is questionable, while Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert are doubtful after missing the win over DC United. Frank Lampard is facing a race against time to be ready as he continues to battle a thigh injury.

Key Points

La Galaxy’s form: W/W/W/W/W

New York City’s form: W/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: LA Galaxy have scored an average of 2.3 goals per home game this season. Attack.

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irishman has been in fine form this season, scoring 13 goals, 10 of which have come at home. He could prove to be the difference this weekend and it’s tough not to see him continuing his fine scoring form at home this Sunday against a leaky NYCFC defence. With his incredible movement and keen eye for goal, we can see him causing New York City’s defence huge problems.

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Score Prediction

La Galaxy 3-2 New York City – This looks like a game that promises plenty of goals due to the creativity that both sides have in their midfield through the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. These veterans should create chances throughout the game and with both sides boasting clinical strikers in Robbie Keane and David Villa, we can see this game being an end-to-end affair with lots of goals. The Galaxy haven’t managed a clean sheet in their last five encounters, which means this game could be closer than what many may think, though the home side should still edge it.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC 

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, August 9 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – New York City FC 4/1

Match Preview

The third and final New York derby of the season takes place on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena. New York City FC visit the New York Red Bulls in hope of ending the Red Bulls’ early dominance in this rivalry.

With two wins from two in the derby, the Red Bulls are comfortably in possession of the bragging rights after a 2-1 home win was followed up by a 3-1 comeback at Yankee Stadium in June.

And being eight points behind DC United in the Eastern Conference, they will want to take a third win as they hunt down the Eastern Conference title with just two months to go in the regular season.

New York Red Bulls’ record in MLS: P21 – W9 – D6 – L6

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New York City FC are searching for the three points for another reason, as they chase a playoff berth in their inaugural season.

This is a huge match for the newly formed franchise as losing all three derbies this season would be devastating, but with stars such as Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard in the team now, NYCFC have assets that can win games. And lest we forget arguably the most lethal out-and-out striker in MLS right now, David Villa.

New York City FC’s record in MLS: P22 – W6 – D6 – L10

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It is sure to be another fiery encounter and it could well be the best game in MLS this weekend between two rivals desperate for the win.

 

Team News

New York Red Bulls will be without Chris Duvall and Ronald Zubar through injury. Damien Perrinelle is suspended.

New York City FC are missing George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt through injury. Chris Wingert, Khiry Shelton and Ryan Meara are all doubts. Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa should all start together.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/W/W/D

New York City FC’s last five: W/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: David Villa has a sensational ten goals in his last eight MLS appearances. 

Key Player: David Villa – World Cup winner Villa has hit form at the right time and he can’t stop scoring at the moment. Expect him to be a real threat on Sunday night.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 1-2 New York City FC – NYCFC could edge this one against their local rivals, especially when considering the form of David Villa in front of goal. If NYCFC do win it, it will be close but this should be a great one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, July 26 – 14:30 ET (19:30 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: NYCFC 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Orlando City 23/10

Match Preview

New York City FC host Orlando City at Yankee Stadium in one of Week 21’s standout fixtures on Sunday afternoon in what should be a great spectacle.

The two MLS Expansion Franchises met back in March on opening weekend in what was the first ever MLS game for both clubs. Kaka’s late deflected free-kick cancelled out a Mix Diskerud strike to earn a point at the Citrus Bowl in what was an entertaining game and a similar match is expected in this one.

Neither side come into the game in good form though, with just three league wins in their last ten combined games between them, so if either is able to take three points from Sunday’s clash they will be delighted.

NYCFC could be boosted by the debuts of Designated Players Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, though Jason Kreis has not yet confirmed whether the two midfield legends will definitely feature against the Lions.

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Their debuts can’t come soon enough for New York City fans as they look to climb into the playoff places with just three months to go. They are currently three points off Orlando in the last remaining playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and could end the weekend in sixth as a result.

Kreis will be expecting his side to respond from last week’s 1-0 loss at New England but will hope they can perform better defensively than in their last home game as Toronto put four past them in that crazy 4-4 draw.

Orlando come into the game off the back of two straight 2-0 defeats at home. New York Red Bulls followed FC Dallas in beating the Lions last weekend and Adrian Heath will be looking for a response against their expansion rivals here.

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They’ve only won one of their last six away from home, however, and need to make sure they perform much better if they’re to take anything from Sunday’s encounter.

Team News

New York City’s main team news regards Lampard and Pirlo, though it’s not clear whether both will feature on Sunday. Lampard has missed the last two weeks with a calf strain but could play here, while Pirlo trained for the first time with NYCFC on Thursday and will be in contention to start. Jason Hernandez and Ned Grabavoy are both suspended, while George John and Tony Taylor are out. Connor Brandt, Javier Calle and Sebastian Velasquez are all doubtful. Mix Diskerud is still away at the Gold Cup and won’t feature.

Orlando have several concerns too. Christian Higuita is ruled out through suspension, while Kevin Molino, Martin Paterson, Tony Cascio, Brek Shea and Harrison Heath are all out injured. Kaka is fit and will hope to inspire his team to victory.

Key Points

New York City’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

Orlando City’s last five: L/W/D/L/L

Key Stat: NYCFC have the worst home record in MLS, having picked up just ten points from a possible 30 at Yankee Stadium.

Key Player: David Villa – Two new DPs may be grabbing all the attention in New York right now, but it’s David Villa who has carried the team so far. He has ten goals and will look to lead his side to victory here.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Orlando City – Tough to separate the sides as another score draw could be on the cards. Neither side are at full strength but there should be goals in what will be an open and entertaining game. If Lampard and Pirlo make their debuts, NYCFC will be difficult to beat but that’s a big ‘if’.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. New York City FC

Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, July 18 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: New England Revolution 19/20 – Draw 13/5 – New York City FC 13/5

Match Preview

New England Revolution host New York City FC in a huge clash in the Eastern Conference with playoff ambitions riding high for both sides.

The Revs are in a torrid run of form that needs to end quickly. No wins in their last five matches in MLS have given the rest of the conference a boost in climbing the table and has seen last year’s MLS Cup runners-up fall to sixth place, seeing the likes of Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC overtake them.

The 4-1 loss at Red Bull Arena last weekend condemned the Revs to the unwanted statistic of becoming the first side in MLS to lose five times on the bounce this season.

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That aside, they are still in the playoff mix but only just. They need to end that horrible run of form and get the win on Saturday to give them confidence as they head to Chicago Fire next week, having only won twice on the road this term. A win this time round is a must.

Despite an agonisingly slow start for New York City FC, the MLS Expansion Franchise have now starting picking up points steadily and are in and out of the playoff places in the Eastern.

The signing of Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo and the eagerly awaited debut of Frank Lampard will bring confidence, leaders and a winning mentality to the club – something Jason Kreis will welcome with open arms.

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They were very unfortunate in last week’s 4-4 draw at home to Toronto FC. They did well to come from 3-2 down at half time, with Jason Kreis rallying his troops to earn a point but their defending was woeful and they must improve at the back this week.

The reverse fixture saw New York City FC win 2-0 in their home opener at Yankee Stadium in March, with goals from David Villa and Patrick Mullins settling it, in what was NYCFC’s first ever victory in MLS.

Team News

New England look set to be without DP Jermaine Jones, Darrius Barnes and also Kevin Alston, though Jones could feature.

New York City FC will be without George John, Ryan Meara and Tony Taylor. Connor Brandt, Javier Calle, Khiry Shelton, Sebastian Velasquez and Jason Hernandez are all doubtful, while Mix Diskerud is away with the USMNT. Frank Lampard will have to wait another week for his debut as he is ruled out of this one.

Key Points

New England Revolution’s last five in MLS: L/L/L/L/L

New York City FC’s last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Three of New York City’s last four wins have been away from home.

Key Player: David Villa – You can’t bet against the NYCFC captain. Villa has been in excellent form and excelling in his striking role. He scored two last weekend and is now on ten goals in MLS. He will only get more when Lampard and Pirlo feature but until then, expect him to continue delivering.

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Score Prediction

New England Revolution 0-2 New York City FC – New England Revolution are in a real mess. Jermaine Jones’ absence is affecting them greatly. His signing this time last year galvanised the MLS Cup runners-up but they are really not in a good place right now. New York City look good going forward and look the likelier of the two to score. Away win.

Gerrard and Lampard to face Spurs as 13 MLS All-Stars announced

There’s just over two weeks to go until the 2015 MLS All-Star game in Colorado takes place as the best in Major League Soccer will take on Tottenham Hotspur at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday, July 29.

And now 13 of the 22 players likely to lineup against Spurs in this year’s All-Star game have been revealed, with league newcomers Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both included despite not yet making an MLS appearance.

Lampard and Gerrard were both named to the All-Star team as as MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s picks for the game. That could see the English midfielders play together for the first time since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Chelsea and Liverpool legends have made a combined total of 58 appearances against Spurs, scoring 12 times against the Lilywhites.

The Fan XI was also announced on Monday along with the Commissioner’s picks as 11 of the best have been put forward for the All-Star game.


2015 MLS All-Star Fan XI: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Kaka (Orlando City), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), David Villa (New York City FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) & Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)


Obafemi Martins was selected by the AT&T/EA SPORTS™ MLS All-Star “More Than a Vote” Tournament in which EA SPORTS FIFA 15 players scored more than one million goals with the Nigerian frontman, seeing him earn his place on the All-Star game through the same process as last year.

There will be three players making their All-Star debuts as superstars Kaka and David Villa will be joined by Benny Feilhaber, who is enjoying a phenomenal campaign with SKC.

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The biggest surprise from the Fan XI is the absence of Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco, who has been the best player in the league this season, netting 11 times in 17 games to be placed as the second highest goalscorer after 19 weeks.

The ‘Atomic Ant’ is more than likely to be announced in the final squad that Colorado Rapids and this year’s MLS All-Star head coach Pablo Mastroeni reveals on Saturday.

Lampard and Gerrard will definitely be included in the 22-man squad, while those selected in the Fan XI are expected to make up 11 of the remaining 20 places. Being named to the Fan XI doesn’t guarantee a spot on the final roster but is taken into strong consideration.

Who do you want to see make the final MLS All-Star squad of those not included in the Fan XI?

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Toronto

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Toronto  

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, July 12 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: New York City FC 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Toronto 12/5

Match Preview

New York City FC entertain Toronto on Sunday in what could be one of the most viewed ties of weekend. The two sides are separated by just three points in the Eastern Conference.

New York City come into this one off the back of their 2-1 win away at Montreal Impact but they sit three points outside the playoff places and need to keep building on a good run of form.

Jason Kreis will be pleased with the last five regular season games, as he has seen his side pick up four wins and just one loss.

The NYCFC fans will be filled with excitement after the wait for Frank Lampard to make his debut should come to an end.

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David Villa has been in fine form so far this season and he has netted eight times and service for Villa should get even better with the arrival of Lampard.

Toronto come into this one after their 4-0 trouncing at the hands of LA Galaxy, a result Greg Vanney will want to move on from quickly.

That loss was their first in five away games and Vanney knows his side have been in good form on the road of late, something NYCFC will be more than aware of.

Vanney has seen his side win just two of their last five regular season outings and they are winless in their last two.

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Sebastian Giovinco has also netted eight so far in his debut season and he has been one of the most exciting players to watch since his arrival in MLS.

Team News

New York City FC will be without Tony Taylor and George John through injury. Connor Brandt, Jason Hernandez and Josh Williams are all doubts. Frank Lampard will be expected to make his debut.

Toronto have two injury concerns; Clement Simonin and Steven Caldwell are both out.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Toronto’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco are both on eight goals so far this season.

Key Player: David Villa – Star striker Villa is in fine form and will want to show the NYCFC faithful he can overshadow Sebastian Giovinco.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Toronto – A tight tie with New York City coming out on top.

NYCFC’s third DP on the way as Italian legend ACCEPTS offer – report

New York City FC‘s search for a third and final Designated Player looks to be over as Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo has accepted an offer, according to Spanish news outlet AS.

The report claims that NYCFC turned to Pirlo soon after learning Barcelona’s Xavi wanted to play in Qatar rather than in the United States, and a deal now looks to have been agreed.

“Andrea Pirlo will play his last game for Juventus on Saturday,” the report claims.

It goes on to suggest that although it was speculated he would only leave if he wins the Champions League in Berlin, he has now made it pretty clear he is going by accepting a proposal made by New York City, with Ferran Soriano playing a key role.

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Soriano is the CEO of NYCFC as well as Manchester City and Melbourne City FC, and he clearly feels Pirlo is the man to take the MLS Expansion Franchise up another level.

Head coach Jason Kreis has struggled to get his team winning matches so far, with just the one victory through their first 13 games, as they sit bottom of the Supporters’ Shield standings on eight points.

Frank Lampard will join up with his new team in July and could be followed in by Pirlo, and the two veterans could enjoy quite the partnership in the middle of the park.

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David Villa is already with the team and he will be relishing the prospect of receiving service from Lampard and Pirlo – two of the game’s greatest playmakers to have played.

Liverpool were also linked with a move for Pirlo as a possible replacement for LA Galaxy-bound Steven Gerrard but the lure of New York City looks to have been enough for Pirlo.

We now await official confirmation from the club, but it looks as if NYCFC have added a second World Cup winner to their roster in Italian legend Andrea Pirlo.

Will Andrea Pirlo be a good signing for New York City FC? Is he what they need?

STATS: How do Liverpool and Chelsea legends compare to current MLS stars?

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and Chelsea hero Frank Lampard have completed their Premier League seasons and will make the move to Major League Soccer at the beginning of July, but how do they compare to the current MLS playmakers?

Having made the move prior to the current MLS season, Sebastian Giovinco and Kaka have hit the ground running.

Lampard and Gerrard have been superb in the Premier League over the years but making the move to MLS is not as easy as it seems. So how do they compare?

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Using the Squawka Comparison matrix, we found the following:

Stats (Per 90 Mins) Benny Feilhaber (MLS 2015) Kaka (MLS 2015) Sebastian Giovinco (MLS 2015) Frank Lampard (Premier League 14/15) Steven Gerrard (Premier League 14/15)
Goals Scored 0.25 0.42 0.51 0.54 0.36
Assists 0.42 0.17 0.41 0.09 0.04
Chances Created 2.68 1.93 2.26 1.35 2.09
Key Passes 2.26 1.76 1.85 1.26 2.05
Pass Completion 79% 83% 81% 85% 85%

It’s hard to compare between these five playmakers as they are playing in separate leagues, but it’s important to see that at current form, the MLS stars hold their own and the onus is on Lampard and Gerrard to hit the ground running.

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The important statistic we found is the goals scored-per-90 minutes – Lampard’s and Gerrard’s goal production will be expected to improve as they are both likely to play in a more advanced role for New York City and LA Galaxy respectively.

Will Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard be effective in Major League Soccer? And who will do better once they arrive?