Rangers receive significant Old Firm boost as international boss makes call on Gers player
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Rangers receive Old Firm boost as international boss makes Ibrox ace call

Rangers have received an Old Firm boost after Gregg Berhalter opted not to call up new Ibrox arrival James Sands for the USA’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

Sands signed for the Gers earlier this month on an 18-month loan deal from New York City FC and made his debut against Aberdeen in midweek.

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He wasn’t required on Friday as Gio van Bronckhorst’s side cruised past Stirling Albion in the Scottish Cup.

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The 21-year-old is expected to play a significant role over the next few months, though, with his ability to play in midfield, as well as at centre-back or right-back making him a particularly useful asset.

It was feared that he could be jetting off back to the US just weeks after his arrival in Glasgow, with three World Cup Qualifiers looming for the Stars and Stripes.

With fixtures against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras between 28th January and 3rd February, a call-up could have rendered the 7-cap man unavailable for up to four Rangers matches.

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He definitely would have missed the trip to Ross County next weekend and the second Old Firm of the season a few days later, while he would have been a doubt for games against Livingston (26th January) and Hearts (6th February).

Rangers receive Old Firm boost

However, when the manager Berhalter’s squad was released on Friday night, it became clear that Sands hadn’t been selected.

It’s a substantial boost for Rangers given that Gio van Bronckhorst’s resources in midfield are a little depleted right now, with Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack all missing due to injury.

Celtic centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers also missed out on USA selection, so he will be available to face Rangers on 2nd February.

However, Tom Rogic won’t feature after being called up by Australia and neither will January signing Daizen Maeda, who will also be on international duty.

Meanwhile, a Rangers-linked winger was left out of a matchday squad just hours after reportedly asking to leave his current club.

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