New York City FC defender James Sands tasted success on Wednesday night as the MLS All-Stars emerged victorious against their Liga MX counterparts.
The native of Rye, New York, became the first NYCFC Homegrown player to be named to an MLS All-Star roster after he was selected by the team’s Head Coach Bob Bradley earlier this month.
Sands was introduced into the game in the second half with the scores tied at 1-1 and made several crucial blocks, as well as a string of good passes.
The two sides could not be separated in normal time, and that saw penalty kicks decide a winner at the Banc of California Stadium.
After nine spot kicks the decisive shot fell to FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi. His thunderous effort crashed in off the underside of the bar and confirmed MLS as winners of the 2021 MLS All-Star Game.
"It’s an amazing event," Sands told the Club's official website. "It’s a reward for the hard work I’ve been putting in and sharing this feeling with some of those guys is pretty special. It’s something I’ll always remember. It’s a really great moment for me and hopefully, there are many more to come.
"(Coming into the game) I was trying to keep the standard up. It’s easy when you have top players around you. It’s a little bit difficult to get subbed on as a center-back, you have to get used to the pace of the game, but for the most part I was trying to have fun and enjoy it because there aren’t many opportunities to do that."
The Club would like to congratulate James and his teammates on their success.