New York City FC coach Jason Kreis said he hopes fans can move past the controversy surrounding Frank Lampard's status with the club, The Guardian's Jamie Jackson reports.
Last summer, it was announced that Lampard had signed a two-year deal with NYCFC and would be with the team to start its inaugural MLS season. The team said he was on loan with Manchester City until January, but Lampard later clarified that he signed a "commitment" to play for NYCFC starting Jan. 1, 2015. Lampard will not join NYCFC until after City's Premier League season ends.
Kreis said he wants fans to understand the club is about more than one player.
“I think at the end of it all when everybody is calmed down and settled down a little bit that everybody can forgive and forget,” he said.
“It’s my dream really that at some point very quickly the fans of NYC aren’t talking about the individual players, I’m hopeful they understand that this is about a team, it isn’t about David Villa or Frank Lampard or Jason Kreis. This is about a squad and a club and what we can do for the community.”
NYCFC won its first friendly match on Tuesday against Scottish side St. Mirren, 2-0.
The club opens its inaugural MLS season on Sunday, March 8 at Orlando City.
- Paul Palladino