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Patrick Vieira’s instant ‘special’ reaction to James Sands as Rangers new boy amazed New York City chiefs

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James Sands made such an impression on his New York City debut that one of the best midfield players to play the game was instantly amazed.

He also gave David Villa a thing or two to think about with his performance as a 16-year-old and sporting director David Lee revealed everyone knew right away they had a brilliant player.

He signed a five-year deal last year but it came with the knowledge that the club would be happy to let him head to Europe if an opportunity arose.

It did when Rangers came calling and he signed an 18-month loan deal with an option to buy at the end of it and if he’s as good as those involved in New York City think he is, then he’s sure to be a permanent player at Ibrox after that.

Lee recalls watching Sands on his debut and they instantly had to figure out a way to get him first team football because he had impressed the likes of Villa and Patrick Vieira so much.

Lee told the Athletic: “We saw that we really had a really fantastic person on our hands first but also a phenomenal player on our hands.

“He settled into the group really quickly and performed excellently in training and the games as well. From there on we were looking at how do we give him the right pathway, get him into our first team and give him the journey he deserves?

“Everybody was so impressed. There is a relatively famous moment, inside New York City FC at least, that everyone will remember.

“James was 16 and played as a holding midfielder and was just fantastic. It was a packed stadium and an incredible atmosphere, he was the most calm player on the pitch. After the game Patrick and even David Villa said, ‘Ooh, this boy has something really special’.”

Although he played that game in defensive midfield, he’s also been used at centre back and at right back and Lee admits his versatility helps him.

He was a regular as Ronny Deila’s men lifted the MLS Cup and he explained how he was capable of playing anywhere because he’s so tactically aware.

That’s good news for Giovanni van Bronckhorst who will be looking to fit him into a Rangers side that has been impressive since he took over.

Lee added: “Tactically he is outstanding. He reads the game fantastically well and he’s technically excellent whether playing centre-back or midfield. They’re the things that can sometimes go unnoticed but they don’t when you work with him. He’s worked with three head coaches now and everyone has tried to find a way to put him in the team as he helps the team regardless of position.

“It all depends on the team and system you play. He went to the national team and played in midfield and then in a back four and a back three so even at that level they’re valuing his versatility. It’s difficult to say he’s better in one position but what he does do is give coaches options and decisions in-game to move him into other positions to change shape, the tempo of the game without having to make a sub as he can adapt so quickly.

“We were all really proud when he went to the national team in the summer as we felt he probably deserved a call-up slightly earlier since his performances have been so good for so long. To see him win the Gold Cup and be a key part of the team was really fantastic for us and just reward for how well he has played.”



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FC Dallas Loans Homegrown Justin Che to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

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FRISCO, Texas (January 21, 2022) – FC Dallas has loaned Homegrown defender Justin Che to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga for the remainder of the 2022 season until June 2023 with an option to buy. FC Dallas also extended Che’s contract through the 2025 season with club option for the 2026 season. Per team policy, additional terms will not be disclosed.

Che, 18, signed as FC Dallas’ 30th Homegrown in club history on Oct. 2, 2020. He appeared in 15 matches, including 12 starts, for FC Dallas during the 2021 season and recorded three assists. He made his professional debut on July 25, 2020 with North Texas Soccer Club, FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate, in the 2-1 season-opening win against Forward Madison FC. Che was named to the 2020 USL League One All-League First Team and was nominated for the league’s Young Player of the Year award following a breakout season with North Texas SC.

Che returns to Germany for the second time following a short-term loan with FC Bayern Munich II in 2021. Che was the second FC Dallas Homegrown behind Chris Richards to join FC Bayern on loan since the Elite Player Development partnership was formed in 2018. Richards is currently on loan from Bayern Munich at 1899 Hoffenheim.

Che joined the FC Dallas Academy in 2009 and scored 18 goals in 84 United States Soccer Development Academy appearances since 2016. Che is the seventh youngest player to sign with FC Dallas at 16 years and 319 days old, behind Bryan Reynolds, Dante Sealy, Jesús Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi, Alejandro Zendejas and Paxton Pomykal.

Che earned two U.S. Men’s National Team camp call ups in 2021 but has yet to make his senior debut. He was also called up to the U-20 Men’s National Team for the inaugural Revelations Cup in November 2021, where he started and played the full 90 minutes in all three matches against Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. 

Full Name: Justin Che *
Connect with Justin:
Twitter | Instagram
Position: Defender
DOB: November 18, 2003 (18)
Hometown: Frisco, Texas*
Birthplace: Richardson, Texas
Height: 6-1
Weight: 165
Nationality:
* United States





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HIGHLIGHTS: The best of new LA Galaxy midfielder Mark Delgado – LA Galaxy

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  1. HIGHLIGHTS: The best of new LA Galaxy midfielder Mark Delgado  LA Galaxy
  2. LA Galaxy acquire midfielder Mark Delgado in trade with Toronto FC | MLSSoccer.com  MLSsoccer.com
  3. Toronto FC acquire $400000 in 2022 GAM for Mark Delgado  torontofc.ca
  4. acquire midfielder Mark Delgado from Toronto FC | LA Galaxy  LA Galaxy
  5. View Full Coverage on Google News



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Heber brace leads NYCFC over Red Bulls in preseason opener

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Ryan, a 22-year-old New Jersey native, pulled one back for the Red Bulls in his first action since turning pro this week. Ryan played for RBNY’s academy from 2013-17, helping earn three straight Northeast Division championships from 2013-15 before heading to Pac-12 program Stanford.





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