NYFC’s Sands, 16, to Stick With U.S. U17 Team


by Christian Araos

James Sands will not be joining New York City FC’s first team for the start of the regular season, Coach Patrick Vieira said Thursday.

Sands, 16, had been on the U.S. U17 national team’s residency roster for the spring semester and will join the team in Florida once preseason ends. Sands had trained with NYCFC for the preseason and appeared in each of its games. Vieira said the technical staff will look at how Sands is doing this summer.

“Maybe in the summer, he will need to have a break because on Monday he’s going to go the national team and it’s going to be a lot of football for him,” Vieira said in a conference call with reporters. “It will get to a time where we will have to look after the boy as well. We’re going to have a good plan for him.”

Sands will be training to be a part of U17 Coach John Hackworth’s team for the CONCACAF U17 Championship in April in Panama. Should the U.S. qualify, Sands would be age-eligible for World Cup in October in India. That would also result in Sands spending much of this year with the U.S. team, away from NYCFC. Vieira said once again that he rates Sands highly and has discussed his development with technical director Claudio Reyna and the rest of the backoffice staff.

“We need to think carefully about how can we help him to develop and what is the next step for him,” Vieira said. “That is a discussion that we are having every single day. We know that he will be really busy next year with the U17 World Cup, he will be spending a lot of time with the national team so we have to look at how much time he’s going to spend with us, how much time he’s going to spend with the national team and then we are going to try to make the right decision to help him develop himself.”

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