A little over three months ago, New York City FC lost 7-0 to New York Red Bulls in the Hudson River Derby. Other than the scoreline, the match was also notable for the 2016 season debut of Frank Lampard who had been sidelined by nagging injuries up to that point. He entered the field of play to a "mixed reaction", as the announcers put it kindly.
Needless to say, Frankie didn't enjoy this reception, though his post-match comments only added fuel to the fire that had seen him already acquire the distasteful title of "Worst Signing in MLS History".
Fifteen games later, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed September 1st to be "Frank Lampard Day", in honor of the legendary midfielder who had just notched his 300th (or, as it turned out, 299th) goal of his professional career the match before. No matter the miscount, Lampard bagged a brace on the day of his own celebration, to give NYCFC the 3-2 win and to give himself 301 career goals.
Unsurprisingly, it's been goals, goals, and more goals that have elevated Super Frank from zero to hero. Lampard has eleven goals in his last thirteen games, including the club's first ever hat-trick, helping NYCFC rise to the top of the MLS Eastern Conference heap in the process. Fans are fickle, by definition; this made Lampard the hero they may not deserve, but certainly need.
With just six games left in the regular season, NYCFC are turning their attentions to the playoffs; if Lampard can keep this up, they may surprise with a deep run, perhaps all the way to the title.