It might be silly season, but in a not-so-silly move New York City FC’s James Sands has been loaned to Rangers FC in the Scottish Premiership through June of 2023. Rangers have an option to sign Sands at the end of the loan.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder made his debut with NYCFC in 2017. He became a regular starter in 2019, and was a vital part of the squad that won the 2021 MLS Cup. In NYCFC’s 2-0 win over Atlanta United in the first round of the playoffs, Sands completed a stunning 94.4% of his passes. His average pass completion for the 2021 regular season was 88.8%.
A native of Rye, NY, Sands started playing with NYCFC affiliate New York Soccer Club at the age of 10. He was called up to the USMNT last summer, and has since earned seven caps with the national team. Transfermarkt values the NYCFC Homegrown at $4.4 million.
He will join the top club in the Scottish Premiership. Rangers are currently #1 with 51 points after 20 games, and have lost only one game all season. Rangers have won the league 55 times. While the Champion’s League has yet to finalize league placement for the 2022/2023 tournament, it is likely that the winner of the Scottish Premiership in 2022 is likely to advance directly into the Champion’s League group stage.
While Sands will be missed in the Bronx, the NYCFC faithful are voicing their support for his move to a top-flight club in Europe. We hope you show those Glaswegians the meaning of bing-bong.
To be honest, this is an emotional moment for those of us at Hudson River Blue who have watched Sands become one of the finest defensive players in MLS. How do we feel? Proud, a little sad. We’ll let Andy Bajaña take it from here:
You know what they say, “Don’t bring Sands to the beach…” How could Deila let this happen, I thought he was a Celtic legend…— Andy Bajaña (@theneckofthrogs) January 5, 2022
We’re going to miss you, Jimmy Boy… shag some sheep in my honour @d____1872 #JamesSands #NYCFC #RangersFC pic.twitter.com/u5K0aFlNqo