Red Bulls midfielder Ben Mines and New York City FC defender James Sands were named to the MLS Homegrown game, Major League Soccer announced Thursday.
Mines, the fifth-youngest player on the Homegrown roster, is one of 16 first-time selections who will compete against Tigres UANL’s Under-20 Team in the fifth annual MLS Homegrown Game Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground (TV: Univision Deportes / Twitter.com).
Mines, who signed an MLS Homegrown contract Jan. 8, made an immediate impact for the Red Bulls as he scored his first career MLS goal in New York’s season opening win over Portland March 10. He became the 15th youngest player in league history to score an MLS regular-season goal. Mines ranks third all-time in franchise history behind Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore for the franchise’s youngest goal scorer. The Ridgefield, Conn. native also became the fifth youngest player to score on his debut in MLS history, and second-youngest starter in his debut, according tothe Elias Sports Bureau.
Alongside his MLS debut, Mines has started in nine of the 10 USL matches that he has appeared in. The New York midfielder has tallied one goal and one assist in 730 minutes played.
Sands, who turned 18 on July 6, was the first Homegrown Player signing in NYCFC history. He has made appearances for the United States Under-17 national team, anchoring the defense as the side reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
More recently, the Rye, N.Y. native Sands helped NYCFC win the 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-19 championship, converting the winning penalty kick in the shootout. This is Sands’ first MLS Homegrown Game selection.
2018 MLS Homegrown Team roster
Goalkeepers: JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Melvin (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Defenders: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union), James Sands (New York City FC), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders: Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Chris Durkin (D.C. United), Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union), Liam Fraser (Toronto FC), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United), Wan Kuzain (Sporting Kansas City), Cameron Lindley (Orlando City SC), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake)
Forwards: Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United), Ben Mines (New York Red Bulls)