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NYCFC acquire Keaton Parks on loan

The Texas native will come to the Bronx on a one-year loan from Portuguese giants Benfica

Soccer: International Champions Cup-Benfica at Juventus Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

After the rumor first emerged of Benfica midfielder Keaton Parks possibly joining New York City FC on a one-season loan, there was an immediate buzz among supporters. It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the Blues and any movement was welcome.

Finally, the deal is official.

NYCFC announced today that Parks had indeed joined the club on loan for the 2019 MLS season.

There is plenty of reason for City fans to be high on Parks’ acquisition. For one, he’s young; the midfielder turns 22 in August. Second, he’s American which means that he won’t occupy an international slot and provide room for more offseason moves to be made. And last — but certainly not least — he can possibly provide a good alternative to the now-departed Yangel Herrera, who went on loan to Huesca earlier this week and leaves huge shoes to fill when it comes to the No. 8 position within NYCFC’s signature 4-3-3.

Able to play virtually anywhere within the central midfield, Parks possesses a real bite and grittiness when it comes to his play style. Despite being a 6’4 giant, the Texas native possesses solid pace which has allowed him to also feature as a wide midfielder on the right flank. Like his predecessor Herrera, Parks has little qualms with getting forward, racking up 9 goals in 27 appearances with Benfica B in the 2017-2018 European season.

Peep this highlight video that features a weird remake of the Pokémon theme song!

Though there are definitely some questions as to whether or not NYCFC boss Domé Torrent is the right guy to develop him the way previous manager Patrick Vieira developed Herrera, Parks’ addition is definitely something worth being excited about.

Welcome to the club, kid!