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James Sands returns to NYCFC as Rangers’ loan is cut short

Rangers have confirmed that the United States international James Sands has returned to New York City FC.

The versatile defender joined the Premiership giants on an 18-month loan deal in January 2022.

Sands featured in 23 games across all competitions this term and 18 games last season.

Rangers manager Michael Beale revealed that the player’s return to NYCFC for the start of the Major League Soccer season is beneficial for both parties.

Sands featured prominently for the Light Blues last term as they reached the final of the Europa League.

The American was also crucial to Rangers’ Scottish Cup triumph. He helped them win the trophy for the first time in 13 years.

The Ibrox club are in the quarter-finals of the competition this term.

Sands bagged the winner in the 3-2 victory against Partick Thistle in the fifth round.

Rangers lost the final of the Scottish League Cup and are nine points behind Celtic in the Premiership after 26 games.

They are virtually only challenging for the Scottish Cup right now.

Beale’s side have enough depth in their squad and were happy to let Sands leave.

The NYCFC academy graduate will eye a return to Europe after his Rangers’ loan stint was cut short.

He is a quality player with plenty of potential, and clubs on the continent will continue to watch him.

The 22-year-old made the MLS All-Star in 2021 and helped his club win the MLS Cup.

Sands also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with his country in the same year and will aim to help NYCFC impress in the MLS this term.

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