USMNT's James Sands returns to NYCFC, signs new contract after Rangers loan cut short

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Midfielder James Sands returned to New York City FC from Glasgow giantsRangers on Wednesday and agreed to a new five-year contract through the 2027 season.

The 22-year-old from Rye, New York, went on loan to Rangers in January 2022 on an initial 18-month deal that gave the Scottish club an option to buy. However his loan has been ended early after falling out of the lineup in recent months.

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He made 41 appearances for Rangers in all competitions, helping win the Scottish Cup and reach the Europa League final.

"We are delighted to welcome James back to New York," said NYCFC sporting director David Lee. "He has gained valuable experience playing in Europe over the past 13 months, including playing in both the Europa League and helping Rangers to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 2010/11.

"I'd like to thank Ross Wilson and Rangers FC for their cooperation in allowing James to return now and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of their season.

"It was a priority for us to try and ensure James returned to New York this season. Despite opportunities to continue his career in Europe, we are pleased that we've been able to reach an agreement on a new contract and convince James that this is the right place for his continued career progression. We know James' ambition remains to play at the highest levels in Europe and we will continue to support him with his career aspirations."

Added Sands: "I am excited to return to New York. As someone who grew up in New York and played for local youth teams and the NYCFC academy, it was and continues to be a great honor to represent this Club. NYCFC has had a tremendous impact on my development, the Club's support of my initial step in Europe and continued understanding of my career goals has been very important to me.

"I would like to thank Rangers for the fantastic opportunity to play with a top-notch European team. Reaching the Europa League final, playing in the Champions League, and winning the Scottish Cup are just a few of the many positive memories that I will take away with me. The level of support from the Rangers' fans is second to none."

Sands made his professional debut with NYC in 2017 and helped the team win the 2021 Major League Soccer title. He made his debut for the U.S. men's national team at the 2021 Gold Cup and now has seven caps to his name.

Rangers manager Michael Beale said: "The opportunity to return to NYCFC for the start of the MLS season, where he will be a key player in their squad, was something that we felt was correct for all parties."

After seeing a number of first-team players leave the club during the offseason, NYCFC lost its opening game of the 2023 MLS season 2-0 at Nashville SC on Saturday.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report