New York City FC announced that midfielder James Sands has signed a five-year contract extension with the Club.
The Rye, NY native became NYCFC’s first Homegrown signing in 2017 and has since made 39 appearances for the First Team in MLS play.
Sands said: “Signing a contract extension with NYCFC is a moment to celebrate and a reward for all the hard work I’ve put in throughout the last few years. It means a lot to me to help create that pathway for young players to really make an impact and push past the first contract.
“To do it at a Club like NYCFC is so special. I’ve been given so much room to grow here and being at this Club for an extended period has helped me to improve in so many areas both on and off the pitch. Ending this season with some sort of trophy would be a huge success and it’s certainly a goal of mine.
“Long-term, playing at a top level in Europe has always been my dream and still is. The Club is in a good position to help me achieve my goals. I’m thankful they understand my ambitions and it’s why I’m so comfortable signing an extension here.”
For a video featuring Sands thoughts on his new contract fans are encouraged to check out the video below:
The 20-year-old has had a decorated career so far despite his young age. Since signing his first professional contract, Sands has represented the United States at the U-17 World Cup, scored the winning penalty kick in the Club’s first U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship, and became the first NYCFC player to be selected to the MLS Homegrown Game.
NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “We’re really pleased James has signed a new contract with the Club and this moment is well deserved. The extension speaks to his performances for the First Team over the past two seasons as well as his overall development since signing as our first Homegrown.”
“He has become an integral part of our team and consistently plays at a very high level. His work ethic and professionalism both on and off the pitch sets a wonderful example for all our Academy players who are looking to follow in his footsteps. James has such a bright future and we’re looking forward to helping him continue to maximize his potential as a player to help him play at the highest level possible.”
In his first season under Head Coach Ronny Deila, Sands logged 1409 minutes in sixteen starts before missing the final month of the season through injury. Sands was named number six on the League’s “22 Under-22″ list towards the end of the 2020 season.
Deila said: “I’ve been very impressed with James since meeting him on my first day in New York. It’s always a challenge for young players to come in and earn their place, but James has done that and will continue to be a big part of our team this season. He has a bright future and we’re excited for his development to continue here at NYCFC.”
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