The MLS off-season is here (for all but four teams, at least), and with that comes the silly season of transfer rumors that will flood your timeline over the next few months. Just this past week, we saw our first flimsy rumor connect itself with Orlando City with The Daily Express in England reporting that the Lions are one of five teams “keen” on signing now former New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard.
NYCFC announced this past week that the Chelsea legend would be leaving the club after the season. Lampard, who was the first player signed by the City Football Group-owned club in 2014, only played in 24 games for the Blues over the course of two seasons, but managed to find the net 12 times in 2016.
The LA Galaxy announced this week they would be losing both Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard this winter, and were also linked to Lampard in the report, in addition to the Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire, and incoming expansion side Atlanta United FC.
Now, there’s absolutely no telling how much truth there is to this rumor — don’t worry, it’s surely completely fabricated — but I can say one thing for certain: it makes no sense, for several reasons.
Normally I’m not one for giving rumors like these air time, but I am, after all, in the business of voicing my opinion, so here goes nothing:
- Lampard is 38 years old, and Orlando City has an exceedingly aged midfield already with Kaká (34), Matias Perez Garcia (32), and Antonio Nocerino (31).
- Unless Jason Kreis and Lampard have an incredibly great friendship that went on behind the scenes at NYCFC that most people don’t know about, it’s hard to believe that Kreis, who took over as the Lions’ coach this summer, will be so keen on bringing in Lampard after all of the drama he went through for the Englishman in 2015.
- Orlando City already has three Designated Players — yes, Bryan Rochez really is still on the team. Make it four DPs if San Jose is no longer on the hook for Perez Garcia’s DP tag. Lampard’s not going to be cheap.
- Orlando City’s primary focus this off-season will surely be on fixing the back line, not spending on the midfield, as Kreis alluded to near the end of the season.
- The Lions are already well-marketed with Kaká.
- It’s reasonable to believe the club is going to be okay with not spending huge on a multi-million-dollar player until Kaká leaves, especially with the new stadium and soon-to-be built training facility tying up most of the club’s funds.
Shall I continue?
Orlando City is one of those clubs (like LA, Toronto and NYCFC) that rumors like to get connected to because they’re far too easy (deep pockets, recognizable brands, etc.). So, rumors like this are bound to pop up every so often, whether they make sense for the club or not.
Unfortunately, this one just didn’t try hard enough to make sense (I won’t be too upset if the Express wants to connect Orlando City to Lionel Messi, though. I hear he might be looking for a new club in a couple of years).