As first reported by Jeff Carlise of ESPN, New York City FC homegrown defender Joe Scally has been sold to current Bundesliga leading side Borussia Monchengladbach. Sources told ESPN that the initial fee is for around $2 million, with bonuses that can add up to around $7 million when all is said and done. The deal will not come into effect till 2021, meaning Scally will remain with the Pigeons till the end of the 2020 MLS season.
Scally was a highly regarded youth prospect in the NYCFC system and the 16-year-old earned a first-team contract before the 2018 season. The 2nd homegrown player in NYCFC history, only behind James Sands, has yet to make an appearance in MLS play for NYCFC. He spent the majority of this past 2019 season sidelined with a hip injury.
The versatile defender from Long Island has played crucial minutes for U.S youth teams over the years. He’s played at the U.S U-15 and U-17 levels in the past. He also played three years above his age level while in the NYCFC academy, helping the club earn their first piece of silverware at the 2017 Generation Adidas Cup.
This move is unprecedented for MLS clubs, as Borussia Monchengladbach is paying a seven-figure total for a player who hasn’t logged a single MLS minute. It’s the highest fee ever paid for a 16-year-old out of an MLS academy. He’s also the first homegrown player ever from NYCFC to be sold to a European club. Gio Reyna is the most recent example of NYCFC academy talent going over to Europe, but Scally is the first player to be signed with City’s first team and then sold over to Europe.
With this move, one has to assume Scally will see a lot more minutes with NYCFC in the 2020 season. Scally usually occupies the right full-back position, meaning he’ll be competing with the highly touted Anton Tinnerholm and journeyman veteran Eric Miller for minutes. Though Tinnerholm still seems to be the main guy moving forward — he signed a contract extension towards the end of last season — there should be room for Scally to see minutes should NYCFC decide he is a more suitable backup than Miller.
Either way, Scally’s transfer is a historic one. It’s yet another great sign for a growing league to have a transfer of this magnitude. It has set a new precedent for how MLS clubs and European clubs will do business around young, American talent. NYCFC will have Scally for one more season and will have to make the best of the young Long Islander’s talent on the backline.
Congrats to Joe and his family, we all can’t wait to see what the future holds.