NEW YORK: Frank Lampard scored the first ever hat trick in franchise history, pacing New York City FC to its largest margin of victory with a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Not only did the hat trick come against the league’s best defense but England legend Lampard has now scored eight goals since June 18, the most by any player in Major League Soccer.
“I am really happy, I didn’t realize that (first hat trick),” Lampard said. “I know it is a very short history but it’s a great accolade for me as a person.
“I’m playing well, feeling good and obviously I can score goals… But for the team more importantly, twice now in recent weeks we lost a game and came straight back the next week and won.”
Tony Taylor and Steven Mendoza also scored for first place NYCFC who got the second half of their season off with a bang by snapping the Rapids’ 15-game unbeaten streak.
Shkelzen Gashi added a stoppage time goal for 10-man Colorado to avoid getting blanked.
The contest was halted for 40 minutes halfway through the first half because of thunderstorms in the area around New York’s Yankee Stadium.
The Rapids came into the game having allowed a league low 14 goals this season, during which they had never trailed by more than a goal. Their last loss was on April 9 against Real Salt Lake.
Lampard, who is the all-time leading goal scorer for Chelsea where he spent 13 years, opened the scoring in the 28th minute and Taylor’s goal just before the half marked his first ever at Yankee Stadium.
Mendoza added a late tally in the 75th minute followed by two quick strikes from midfielder Lampard in the 81st and 85th minutes for the Eastern Conference-leading New York side.