James Sands: Rangers confirm arrival of USA international on New York City loan

Rangers have made their first signing of the Giovanni van Bronckhorst era after confirming the arrival of US international James Sands from New York City FC.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 10:00 am

The 21-year-old has joined the Ibrox club on an initial 18-month loan subject to receiving a work permit and international clearance with an option-to-buy also inserted into the deal.

Last year, Sands helped New York defeat Portland Timbers to lift the MLS Cup for the first time in their history and was named the club’s young player of the season.

He has been capped seven times by USA and played in their recent CONCACAF Golf Cup success, including the 1-0 final victory over Mexico.

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Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Pic by PA.

A versatile player who can slot into midfield and in defence, Sands bolsters van Bronckhorst’s squad following the departure of Nathan Patterson to Everton earlier this week.

“James is a player who I have been aware of for some time,” the Rangers manager said. “His versatility was a big attraction and I’ve been impressed with his attitude and mentality in the games that I have watched recently.

“He is a talented young player with areas of his game which we will endeavour to develop through our coaching. I am looking forward to getting him onto the pitch and starting to work with him.”

Speaking as he arrived in Glasgow, young New Yorker Sands said: “I’m very excited to be joining Rangers Football Club. It is an incredible opportunity for me to join a club with such a winning history and worldwide fan base.

“Additionally, I’m looking forward to joining an ambitious and talented group of players and coaches.

“I am certain that Rangers will progress me as both a player and as a person. I would also like to thank NYCFC for the role they have played in my development so far. I have and continue to receive amazing support from everyone involved with the club.”

Sporting Director, Ross Wilson, added: “Signing James is a really interesting opportunity for us, and one we are all excited about. We reached agreement a couple of weeks ago for the transfer to be structured as a loan for this season and next, whilst we have negotiated and secured an exclusive option to buy beyond the initial loan period.

“Our scouting team has tracked his strong evolution over the course of the season with the MLS Champions New York City and we have identified a lot of potential in James.”

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