Despite emerging as one of the league’s best up-and-coming defenders in the first half of the season, the second half of 2019 hasn’t been all too great for New York City FC Homegrown Player James Sands. And to no fault of his own.
Back in June, Sands broke his arm against FC Cincinnati and was shelved for a little over a month. Upon returning, the Sandman played a series of games with no issues (albeit with an arm cast). Then in August, once again against Cincinnati, Sands broke his collarbone after getting tangled up with a Cinci player.
After a stretch of almost two months, Sands has been removed from NYCFC’s latest injury report and has been cleared for action right in time for the team’s final regular season game against the Philadelphia Union, as well as the entirety of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
“I’m just happy to be playing again,” Sands said. “It means a lot because I’ve been here for a while and I’ve seen some things change and some things stay the same, but I think it shows what a good plan the club has for the younger guys. They’ve brought me through step-by-step and I think it just shows well that I can contribute on the first team and that maybe there’ll be more kids in the future like that.”
It should also be noted that Anton Tinnerholm has also been cleared for action after having to miss a game due to a concussion.
Going into the playoffs, it’s going to take a good collective effort if NYCFC want to finish 2019 with silverware. And having depth at all positions helps your chances immensely.