Rangers confirm the loan signing of New York City defender James Sands

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USA national James Sands has agreed a deal to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan from New York City FC. The deal is an initial loan deal for 18 months with an option to buy subject to work permit and international clearances.

Sands who can play as a Centre-back as well as a defensive midfielder, becomes Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first signing as Rangers boss. He was an integral part of a New York City FC team that won it’s first ever MLS title last month. The versatile defender was named Club’s young player of the year for his performances last season.

The 21-year-old New Yorker joined the New York City FC academy back in 2015 and he made his MLS debut in 2017. He went on to make 76 appearance for the MLS side. He also had a small loan spell with Louisville City FC where he only managed to play 3 games.

Sands was handed his USA international debut by Gregg Berhalter in July last year. Gregg Berhalter is a big fan of Rangers’ new signing. He has handed Sands 7 caps in a matter of 6 months.

The New York born player also played in USA’s Gold Cup final against Mexico where the youngster was trusted with the entire 120 minutes and USA edged a 1-0 win in extra-time.

Sands has made tremendous progress in the international ranks since his debut in July 2021. He becomes the fifth USA international after Claudio Reyna, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu to make a move to the Ibrox.

What does James Sands bring to the Rangers’ side?

Sands was described by his US coach Gregg Berhalter as a quiet person in the dressing room but aggressive when it comes to the field. He was also described as focused and a fierce competitor by the US coach.

Sands will certainly bring versatility in the Rangers’ camp. The New Yorker can be used as a Centre-back and is often deployed in the defensive midfield position by his former boss. He has played 37 games as a midfielder and 34 games as a centre-back in his time in the USA.

The former New York City FC player is very good technically and has a knack for reading the game well. The 6’1 player is also decent in the air and can provide as an extra aerial threat at times.

The 21-year-old has shared the pitch with some talented players like Andrea Pirlo and David Villa in his career. He has the ability to become something very special for the Rangers’ side. Provided that their boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst is able to get the best out of him.

This is what James Sands had to say about his arrival at the Ibrox via RangersFC website:

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. Have and continue to receive amazing support from everyone involved with the club.

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