New York City FC avoid midseason signings as Frank Lampard, David Villa join before 2015 season

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Signing iconic players David Villa and Frank Lampard is an important first step for New York City FC.

But having both Designated Players available when the expansion team starts its first preseason camp in January is vital, according to head coach Jason Kreis.

“We made that a particular area that we wanted to inform leadership about, that we want our full team in place at the start of preseason at the end of January 2015,” Kreis said following a press conference announcing the Lampard signing at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday. “We’re going to make every effort to make sure we have all of our players ready to go by then.”

Kreis said having star overseas players arrive before the MLS season starts was a point of emphasis of his, a philosophy he said the club also values.

“For me, players that enter in the middle of the season are typical fails,” Kreis said. “The chances for those players to really contribute meaningfully in a second half of a season in MLS are very, very small.”

Lampard could already team with Villa on loan at sister club Melbourne City FC in Australia’s A-League, although Lampard and NYCFC director of football operations Claudio Reyna say no plans are in place right now.

Still, the Chelsea legend and English international said he values forming a bond with his future teammates as soon as possible.

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“It’s a big deal. We want to get out of the blocks here,” Lampard said. “I don’t think we want to waste time. What’s important is as soon as the lads come together and the team is built up, we can’t waste any time. We have to bond and that’s as much off the pitch as on the pitch. You have to have the spirit and galvanize that quickly.”

Lampard said it was equally important during his time at Chelsea.

“We had a really strong dressing room and a really strong spirit,” Lampard said. “Sometimes that can take you 75 percent of the way so we need to do that.”