6 top midfielders who switched to lesser leagues in the twilight of their careers
#5 Frank Lampard (New York City FC)
In January 2015, the same month in which Steven Gerrard signed for LA Galaxy, the Premier League’s best goal-scoring midfielder Frank Lampard joined the Galaxy’s east coast counterparts New York City FC, debuting against Montreal Impact in a 3-2 loss.
He scored his first goal for NYCFC in a 2-0 win against Toronto FC snapping his team’s 3-game losing streak. In October, the Chelsea legend scored the club’s fastest ever goal against DC United. However, the team finished outside the MLS Cup Playoff places.
Lampard missed the start of the 2016 season and made his first appearance in the New York Derby against the New York Red Bulls playing the final 15 minutes. The match ended 7-0 to the Bulls and NYCFC fans subsequently jeered their own team.
He then scored 4 goals in 5 matches and was cheered by the fans. Lampard became the first NYCFC player to score a hattrick when he put 3 past the Colorado Rapids in a 5-1 win. NYCFC qualified for the MLS Playoffs for the first time by clinching the 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. The England-international featured in both legs of the Eastern Conference semi-final against Toronto FC as City were beaten 7-0.
Just like Gerrard, Lampard announced in November 2016 that he’d be leaving the club when his contract expired. In February, Lampard announced his retirement from the game.
Presently he serves Championship side Derby as their manager.