NEW YORK, N.Y., September 16, 2021 - New York City FC today announced that the Club has signed Academy product Christian McFarlane to a Homegrown contract through the 2026 season with an option for 2027.
The 14-year-old defender becomes the sixth Homegrown signing in Club history, and since the Academy was formed in 2015. At just 14 years and 7 months, McFarlane is the third-youngest player to sign a First Team contract in MLS history.
McFarlane was born in Basildon, England and moved to New York City when he was three years old, spending most of his childhood in Queens and Long Island. He joined the NYCFC Academy from JIGS Soccer Training School in 2018 and has recently been playing for the NYCFC U-17 team in the MLS Next League.
On signing a Homegrown contract, McFarlane said: “This is a very proud moment for me and my family and I’d like to thank everyone at NYCFC for the hard work and for believing that I will continue to improve. I am ambitious and will work hard every day, but I know it will take time to make in impact on such a talented team. Since a very young age, it has been a dream of mine to be a professional soccer player, and there is so much I want to achieve in the game. I don’t think I could be in a better place to continue my development and achieve my dreams.”
McFarlane is the latest Homegrown to develop through the NYCFC Academy system, which has produced some exceptional talent, including James Sands who won the Gold Cup with the USMNT this summer and recently received this first MLS All-Star nod.
“It really motivates me seeing [James] play,” said McFarlane. ‘’It is not just about the way he plays on the pitch, but the way he conducts himself with such professionalism off it. One day, I also hope to set an example for others to follow.”
NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “We’re really happy to sign Christian as he becomes our sixth homegrown player to join our First Team. It is always an exciting moment when we sign talented players from the New York area who have developed through our system, and we’re really excited for Christian and his family.”
“Christian initially came into our U-12 group and he has developed quickly through the Academy. He is at an earlier stage of his development than our previous Academy signings and initially will continue to train and play with our U-17 team, but we are excited that he has committed to become a professional at this young age. There is a development plan in place for him over the coming years and we are looking forward to supporting his development to maximize his potential.”
McFarlane joins a growing list of emerging talent produced within the Academy system including James Sands, Joe Scally, Justin Haak, Tavon Gray and Andres Jasson. Prior to McFarlane signing a contract, NYCFC Academy products have combined to play 96 MLS games for the Club. “We couldn’t be prouder of the quality of players that our Academy is producing,” said Lee.
“The Academy is an essential part of our Club. Developing local players is a core function of our Sporting Department and I’d like to thank everyone in our Academy for their amazing work. We have an incredible amount of talent in our Academy right now and we’re excited for the future.”
Transaction: Homegrown Contract
Name: Christian McFarlane
Weight: 63 kg
Date of Birth: 1/25/2007
Birthplace: Basildon, England
Last Club: N/A
How Acquired: Homegrown signing from NYCFC Academy