Youth development has always been of the utmost importance for New York City FC. Despite always having a large roster made up with tons of talent over the years, NYCFC have found time to call up the likes of James Sands, Justin Haak, Tayvon Gray, Andres Jasson, and Joe Scally — the latter of whom made a big money move to Germany earlier this year — to the senior team.
That strategy has definitely given NYCFC a return on investment. James Sands has been a consistent starter in the last several seasons, becoming a highly touted USMNT prospect at both defensive midfielder and center back, which culminated in a US call-up for the ongoing Gold Cup this summer. Tayvon Gray could also be Anton Tinnerholm’s heir apparent at right back should everything go according to plan.
Yesterday, City made moves to ensure that they remain at the forefront of MLS clubs who have been dedicated to producing new American talent by hiring former FC Copenhagen Head of Youth Development Morten Grahn.
While his name might not be well known to most American fans, Grahn’s track record of producing first-team talent is well documented. As reported by Glenn Crooks, Grahn has guided over 30 Copenhagen Academy players to the first team during his tenure, including 19-year-old attacking prospect Mohammed Daramy, who has appeared in over 70 matches for Copenhagen with at least 10 goals to show for it.
#NYCFC introduces new Academy Director.— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) July 13, 2021
"Grahn has guided over 30 Copenhagen academy graduates to the First Team including 19-year-old Mohammed Daramy who has already played more than 70 times at the senior level."#MLSNext pic.twitter.com/3FVjPvy5NQ
If that kind of CV is anything to go by, NYCFC’s Academy is in very good hands and fans are likely to see a further influx of young talent making their way up the ranks and into MLS matches.
Congrats, Morten! Make NYC proud!