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USMNT’s James Sands loaned to Rangers by NYCFC with option to buy

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Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola react to big transfers for a pair of USMNT strikers, as Daryl Dike returns to the Championship to join West Brom while Ricardo Pepi moves to Bundesliga side Augsburg.

NEW YORK -- American midfielder and defender James Sands was loaned Wednesday to Glasgow Rangers from Major League Soccer champion New York City through the end of the 2023-24 Scottish Premier League season.

Rangers have an option to acquire Sands at the end of the loan.

“James is a player who I have been aware of for some time,” Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, a friend of former NYC and current Austin sporting director Claudio Reyna, said in a statement. “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 endeavor to develop through our coaching.”

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Sands, a 21-year-old from Rye, New York, made his MLS debut in 2017 and appeared last year in 26 regular-season games and four postseason matches. He was selected to the MLS All-Star team.

“I feel it is time in my career to test myself in another league and face a new challenge in Europe,” Sands said in a statement.

He made his debut for the U.S. national team in last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and has made seven international appearances, including a start in a World Cup qualifier at Honduras.

“Aside from his qualities with the ball, his versatility and tactical understanding, we also know that James is a brilliant character, positive personality and despite his young age, is already showing impressive leadership qualities,” Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson said in a statement.