New York City FC today announced that the Club has reached an agreement with German side Borussia Mönchengladbach to transfer defender Joe Scally. The Long Island native will remain with NYCFC through the 2020 MLS Season and will move to the Bundesliga side in January 2021.
Scally said: “I was very excited when I heard the news about the transfer to Borussia Mönchengladbach. As a kid you always want to play in Europe and in one of the best leagues in the world. I couldn’t be happier.
“Looking towards next season, I hope to play a lot of minutes and help out the team as much as I can as we look to achieve our goals. It’s always the same for us, to finish first in the league and win MLS Cup.”
He becomes the first player to graduate NYCFC’s Academy and be sold to a major European club. The transfer is an unprecedented move for a player who has yet to make his Major League Soccer debut.
The initial transfer fee is the highest paid for a 16-year-old MLS player in league history. With potential bonuses, the seven-figure transfer fee could rise significantly to become one of the highest transfer fees received for a MLS player being transferred to a European club.
NYCFC will also receive a sell-on percentage if Scally is sold in the future.
NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said: “It’s very exciting for Joe to move to the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach and play in one of the best leagues in the world.
“He’ll remain with us for the 2020 season, but during that time he’ll be able to go over to Germany and begin adapting to those surroundings, so when he goes in January 2021, he is able to hit the ground running.
“He’s still 16 years old, so he has a lot of growth and development still to come. He works extremely hard, is very competitive, strives to get better and is a winner.
“This move is a culmination of work from our Academy staff and the Club to build him up from when he arrived as a 13-year-old to where he is today. I personally want to recognize the entire Academy for the work they’ve done in developing Joe. It’s extremely exciting for the Club and we’re very happy for him.”
Scally signed a Homegrown Contract with NYCFC in March 2018 becoming the Club’s second Academy Product. At the time of the signing, he was the second-youngest player to ever sign a professional contract in MLS behind Freddy Adu.
He made his professional debut coming on as a substitute for David Villa in the 57th minute in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup 4th Round match against the New York Red Bulls.
The defender helped the NYCFC Academy win multiple trophies during his time in the youth ranks. Scally won the 2017 Generation adidas Cup and the 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship with NYCFC’s Academy and was part of the U-19s impressive showing at the 2019 Dallas Cup.
The U.S. Youth International was a key part of the United States’ U-17 qualification for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. He started all three matches for the United States and assisted on Gianluca Busio’s 3rd minute goal in the opening match against Senegal.
Scally is one of three Academy Products currently in the NYCFC first team. James Sands signed with the Club in 2017 and appeared in 19 league matches this season. Justin Haak, who signed most recently this past January, played in three.
“As a young player at NYCFC, you know you’re going to get an opportunity. You know it’s a place where you’ll feel welcome and will excel in the game,” Scally said about his time in the Academy.
“All the time you put into training, some days you can’t hang out with your friends, but just know one day it will pay off. You know you’re at the right place when you join the Academy.”
All three NYCFC Homegrowns were part of the Club’s 2017 Generation adidas Cup and 2018 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship title winning teams.
“The first year in the NYCFC Academy, all the coaches and staff who brought us in made us feel welcome. You knew it was a place you were going to develop your game and get better,” said Scally. “Everyone was so close, from the coaches to the players. All of us are like brothers. We all stuck together and accomplished great things as a team.”
The Club’s Academy is still very young and is in its fourth season with a full set of teams—U-12s through U-19s.
Reyna said: “Joe is one of our own. I think this move inspires the future players coming through the Academy that they can become a professional here and be just like Joe, James or Justin.”
Transaction: Joe Scally joins Borussia Mönchengladbach from New York City FC; Defender to remain at Club through 2020 MLS season.
Name: Joe Scally
Weight: 148 lbs
Hometown: Lake Grove, New York
Citizenship: United States