James Sands

New York City FC duo James Sands and Sean Johnson celebrated international success at the weekend after helping the United States top their group at the 2021 Gold Cup.

The pair were selected as part of Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s 23-man roster, with Johnson looking to build on his Gold Cup successes from 2013 and 2017.

The U.S. kicked off their participation in the tournament with a 1-0 win against Haiti on July 11 in Kansas City.

The game saw Sands make his senior international debut for his country as a second-half substitute for Nicholas Gioacchini.

A moment of personal pride for the 20-year-old, it also saw him make Club history by becoming the first Homegrown to earn a senior international cap with the United States.

The native of Rye, New York built on that with his first start in the USMNT’s next game against Martinique on July 15, during which he earned rave reviews for his performance.

Playing the full 90-minutes, Sands helped his country to a 6-1 victory that secured their qualification from Group B and a place in the knockout rounds.

He earned a second consecutive start on Sunday for the meeting against Canada, during which he again played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win.

That performance saw him nominated for the Man of the Match award, a rich reward for another strong outing for his country. The duo will now prepare for a meeting with the runner-up from Group C on July 25 in Arlington, Texas.

The club would like to congratulate Sean and James on their achievement and wish them luck in the next stage of the competition.

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