Keaton Parks became a regular for NYCFC as the 2019 season wore on. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
NEW YORK – New York City FC Wednesday announced that it has acquired midfielder Keaton Parks on a permanent transfer from S.L. Benfica.
Parks signed a multi-year Major League Soccer contract.
He spent the last season on loan at NYCFC and made 26 appearances during his first season in New York. He scored twice and added three assists across all competitions.
“I’m really excited to be back at New York City FC on a permanent basis,” Parks said. “My first season in New York was incredible, and with most of the guys returning, I know 2020 will be an even better year for the club.
“Since day one, all of the staff and players have treated me like family. NYCFC really feels like home for me and I know it’s the right place for me during this stage in my career. Staying with the club will help my growth as a professional.
The 6-3, 178-lb. Parks wasn’t finished.
“I think I played well in 2019 and earned my spot in the starting 11, but heading into 2020, I’m ready to fight to keep my place and help push this team forward to bigger things,” he added. “My goal for this year is simple – I want to win a trophy. We definitely have the talent to win one and that’s what I want to do with NYCFC. I’m confident we have the squad to do it.”
The 22-year-old Texas native was an integral member of the NYCFC midfield.
“Getting Keaton back on a permanent basis was one of our main priorities and we’re happy to complete the deal before the team leaves for preseason,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. “He had a tremendous impact on our team last year and showed continued development throughout the 2019 season. He displayed his quality as a player on the pitch, and off it he was an incredible presence in our locker room.
“Keaton’s potential as a professional is extremely high. Having already made his debut for the U.S. national team, we believe that he has the capability to become a regular at that level if he continues to develop as he’s done throughout his career. Keaton is not only a player that helps us compete for titles in 2020, but can also be a foundation piece of this club for many years to come.”
Park started all three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches and scored his first two goals for the club in a victory over North Carolina FC
“When I watch Keaton, I see a very skilled player with extreme confidence on the ball,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said. “He fits in seamlessly with how we want to play in the City style and his performance in 2019 showed that. I know how important he was to our club last season, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with him for years to come.”