James Sands celebrates NYCFC winning MLS Cup. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

When you win championships and stand out, you get noticed.

Case in point:

MLS Cup champions New York City FC – as two of its players have attracted interest.

One is striker Taty Castellanos, the other is defender-midfielder James Sands.

According to Italian website Tuttomercatoweb.com, Glasgow Rangers are interested in Sands, first as a loan player, then with an option to purchase his contract. There were no sources cited in the story.

Writer Marco Conterio of Tuttomercatoweb.com wrote that Sands would be a good fit because Rangers center back Filip Helander, a Swedish international, is “always in the pits with a knee injury,” for the Scottish Premier League powerhouse.

He added that Rangers manager “Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Gers are strong on Rye’s 21-year-old.”

This past year has been a whirlwind for Sands, who made his U.S. men’s national team debut and was a vital part of NYCFC’s first league title.

Sands, a native of Rye, N.Y., has played defensive mid and center back for City.

Not surprisingly, Castellanos, the MLS Golden Boot winner, also has his suitors.

Palmeiras has made a $12.5 million offer for Castellanos, according to ESPN.

The Brazilian club made the offer days after NYCFC captured the MLS Cup championship in its win at the Portland Timbers on Dec. 11, according to sources.


Castellanos, who scored a goal and converted a penalty kick in the shootout, finished with a league-high 19 goals during the regular season.