With NYCFC star midfielder Frank Lampard sidelined the next three to four weeks after suffering a calf injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against FC Dallas, he leaves an opening in the starting 11. It is up to head coach Patrick Vieira’s team to step up and fill the void.
Lampard scored 12 goals in 15 starts this season, and his presence on offense will be missed for the time being. NYCFC (12-9-9, 45 points) needs its midfielders to come on to the pitch and keep them in contention for their first MLS Cup Playoffs.
These three midfielders who will need to step up in Lampard’s absence.
The top pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft has been fantastic as a rookie, most recently assisting on both goals against Dallas. Harrison’s work has been a vital contribution to the club’s success, but needs to add more scoring opportunities as they arise. The 19-year-old Englishman only has three goals on five shots on goal and 17 attempts through 17 games played.
The Norwegian-American must be a player on which his team can depend. Diskerud, who’s only goal of the season came back in March, needs to find an offensive spark as the season wraps up. He has started only nine games this season but should expect a bump in playing time.
The West Nyack native matched his 2015 goal tally with his fifth score of the season against Dallas, the third-most on the team behind David Villa (17) and Lampard. Look for McNamara, who has started 25 of 27 games this season, to take more shots from midfield during Lampard’s absence.