New York City FC are delighted to announce that Sebastien Ibeagha has joined the club.
The 26-year old central defender officially signs after spending preseason with the team in Florida, LA and Mexico.
A former U.S. U-20 international and the reigning USL Defender of the Year, Ibeagha becomes NYCFC’s ninth addition of the offseason, following Saad Abdul-Salaam, Jo Inge Berget, Cedric Hountondji, Jesus Medina, Ebenezer Ofori, Brad Stuver, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Anton Tinnerholm to the Club.
Ibeagha told NYCFC.com: “I’m really excited – it’s been cool to come in from an affiliate team in San Antonio in USL and to join NYCFC for preseason and to see that come to fruition.
“The first thing I learned coming in for preseason was that this is a team of great guys. I’ve never seen a team in MLS as close as this, coming together in preseason to welcome people into the family and to take the new guys under their wings and making it easy to settle in.
“Secondly, everyone in this group can play which is so important in raising all of our levels as this is a team that wants to win championships.
“Individually, I just want to continue developing and playing the best soccer I can. Collectively, this is a team that wants to win, this is a winning city and that’s what we have to put out every weekend and every day on the training pitch.”
Head Coach Patrick Vieira said: “I like the way Sebastien trained, he showed a lot of character, he’s physically very strong and his tactical knowledge is very interesting.
“Of course there is room for him to improve himself but I’m not worried about that because he’s a quick learner and he’s somebody who asks a lot of questions; who wants to improve.
“We’re glad and happy that we’ve managed to bring him into the squad.”
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna added: “Sebastien settled into preseason and into the team really well.
“He came in fit, he was comfortable and confident with what the coaches were asking of him. He comes from our affiliate San Antonio, so we know him really well and how well he’s played there.
“He was USL Defender of the Year last season and he’s at a good age to come back into MLS – Sebastien adds experience to this team and we’re excited to have him.”
The Nigerian-born defender calls Missouri City home but started out his youth career at the Houston Dynamo Academy, emerging through the age groups to begin training with the first-team before he entered the college system.
After a four-year stint at Duke University where he was named first-team all-ACC in 2012 and 2013, Ibeagha resumed his pro career in Europe, representing Danish clubs Horsens and Fredericia, as well as Fram Reykjavik in Iceland.
After two years overseas, Ibeagha returned to Houston in 2016 and enjoyed loan spells at Rio Grande Valley FC Toros and Rayo OKC before signing permanently for NYCFC’s USL Affiliate Team San Antonio FC in 2017.
A strong, powerful central defender, Sebastien was a revelation in his season under Darren Powell, making 30 league appearances and earning the USL Defender of the Year award before he joined NYCFC for Preseason 2018 and appeared in friendlies vs. Jacksonville University, LA Galaxy and RSL.
We’re hosting our second annual pub crawl on Sunday when the Boys in Blue take on Sporting Kansas City in our season opener this Sunday.