A day after one right back departed, New York City FC signed another one to a contract extension.
City on Tuesday announced that defender Tayvon Gray has signed a new contract through the 2025 Major League Soccer with an option for 2026.
On Monday, it was announced that right back Anton Tinnerholm had signed with his former Swedish club, Malmo FF.
Gray, a Bronx, N.Y., native was the second Homegrown to sign a contract extension with the Club after James Sands. In 2022, he became one of the league’s most promising defenders, appearing in 25 matches and helping the team to eight shutouts and adding two assists. Gray, 20, also played the full 90 minutes in the Campeones Cup against Mexican side Atlas FC where the club claimed its second trophy. NYCFC won the MLS Cup crown in 2021.
“I feel amazing honestly, it’s a big step for me,” Gray said in a statement. “It’s a reward for all of the hard work I’ve put in the last couple of years, but my goal is to continue to keep getting better and to stay hungry. To be honest, this feels like a new beginning for me, it feels like it’s a reset button, everything starts from zero, so I just have to get after it now.
“I am excited that I get to continue my time here in New York. As everybody knows, I was born and raised in The Bronx, nothing beats that. Growing up in the City and signing my second contract for NYCFC is an amazing feeling. I am so grateful to the Club for believing in me and helping me grow both on-and-off the pitch. My one piece of advice is to go for your dreams, don’t let anybody turn your dreams down. I would have never imagined winning MLS Cup in my second season, what makes you think you can’t.”
Signed as a Homegrown with the Club in 2019, the 5-11, 174-lb. Gray was thrown into the deep end of the pool in 2021 after Tinnerholm suffered a season ending injury. Despite having only two professional starts, Gray was inserted into the starting XI for the remainder of the season and acquitted himself well. He played an instrumental part in the side’s MLS Cup run, playing every minute in all four playoff games and contributing an assist in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
“We are delighted that Tayvon has signed a new contract, this speaks to both his development and performances with the first team since signing professionally,” sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “He has already shown himself to be an impactful player on an MLS Cup winning team, while we know there is even more development to come, our focus will continue to be maximizing his potential.
“It is also another proud day to celebrate all the fantastic work done by our Academy to identify and develop players who are capable to play at the highest levels. The continued impact that local players have on the success of our First Team is an important part of our club.”