USMNT boss backs James Sands to impress at Rangers after Ibrox move
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USMNT boss backs James Sands to impress at Rangers after Ibrox move

United States national team boss Gregg Berhalter is confident James Sands will be a “good signing” for Rangers after the American joined the Gers on an 18-month loan deal.

Berhalter handed Sands his international debut last year and the USMNT boss confessed the versatile defender is “quiet” but a “fierce competitor.”

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“James is quiet, he leads with quiet intensity,” Berhalter said [Daily Record].

“He’s a guy who’s always focused on his role, always focused on performing and he is a fierce competitor.

“In the locker room, he’s quiet. But when he’s on the field he changes his personality and becomes much more aggressive.

“He wants to win every play that he’s in and every game that he’s in.

“I think this is a very good signing for Rangers. I know there was a lot of competition and James is a player that is going to be 100 per cent on and off the field. He’s going to help the team.”

While Sands has only just arrived in Scotland, Berhalter admits moving to Ibrox could be a “great stepping stone” for the American.

At only 21, Sands is still relatively inexperienced and his time in Scotland can really help him grow quickly – both on and off the pitch.

After helping NYCFC lift their maiden MLS Cup and appearing for the MLS All-Stars last year, the seven-times capped American clearly has an admirer in the USMNT boss.

“I think Rangers is a great stepping stone for James,” Berhalter added.

“Rangers are a top club in Scotland, playing at the highest level of European football and really a great team to come into to experience what winning and competing for titles and the Champions League is really about.

“So, for James, he’s done well in MLS and now he’s moving to another level where he’s going to be challenged. He’ll still have the support of the club and will be able to ease into competing.

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“James is a very versatile player that’s excellent at reading the game and gives the coach flexibility because he can play in a number of positions.

“He competes in every play, technically very good and we were able to use him both as a centre-back and a centre midfielder. That really helped the team.”

The arrival of Sands could be the catalyst for more players to join the club, as interest heats up in a defender plying his trade in the Eredivisie.