Dear fans of New York City FC; no doubt you are still angry, hell, engraged at the news Frank Lampard's time with Manchester City FC has been extended, and will keep him out of your lineup for at least the first few months of the MLS season.
You have every right to be. In a season in which you were promised that Lampard would essentially be the face of your brand new franchise, you have been punched in the gut, slapped in the face, and even given a noogie for good measure. Specifically, that noogie came in the form of an unbelievable tone-deaf tweet from NYCFC's twitter account.
Frank Lampard scores a 73rd minute winner for @MCFC against @SunderlandAFC at the Etihad on New Year's Day. #NYCFC pic.twitter.com/dU0oZ9X6aG— New York City FC (@NYCFC) January 1, 2015
However, you are not alone. Fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps can attest to the sickening, empty feeling you get in your stomach when something of this magnitude happens to the club you passionately support. We had an exciting, golden boot winning striker who scored one of the most beautiful goals in MLS history. He was electric.
Then, Camilo Sanvezzo was gone in a flash, signing with Queretaro FC of Liga MX despite being in the option year of his contract with the Whitecaps. During the process, Whitecaps fans got their own tweet to be livid at, when Sanvezzo donned a Gallos Blancos kit and sent it out through social media. Whitecaps fans, who had been promised Sanvezzo would return, were dumbstruck.
We figured, surely the league wouldn't allow Camilo to simply bolt from his responsibilities in North America, but any action from Don Garber and co. proved toothless, and Camilo was allowed to leave a few a few days later.
It hurt. It sucked. It made us livid at Whitecaps management, MLS, Camilo and his agent, but absolutely nothing was to be done about it. We were essentially patted on the head and told to run along while the centerpiece of the Whitecaps attack made his exit. I imagine you all must feel that same way, like your outrage simply doesn't matter. You were promised a player, some of you bought seasons tickets because of it, and that promise is not being fulfilled. Add in salt-in-the-wound moments like the incredibly insensitive tweet the club sent out, and this is a nightmare start for your fanbase.
Here's the good news; while the league may be in a state of continual embarrassment, the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to bounce back from their misfortune and had a really good 2014. The addition of Head Coach Carl Robinson, as well as players like Pedro Morales made the Whitecaps competitive and earned them a spot in the play-offs. Off-season shenanigans aside, it was a fun year to be a Whitecaps fan.
I have no idea what next season holds for NYCFC or it's fans, but I do know that the bitter taste in your mouth may not be there forever. Hold everybody accountable for this. Make noise, threaten to return tickets. In the immortal words of Peter Finch, let them know that 'You're mad as hell, and you're not going to take it anymore!" Hopefully, given some time, the embarrassment of this incident will sting a little bit less.