USMNT stars must learn 'the grass is not always greener' in Europe, says Alexi Lalas after James Sands returns to MLS

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James Sands Rangers 2022-23
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Former U.S. men's national team star Alexi Lalas says American players have to understand that Europe isn't always the best move.
  • Lalas reflects on Sands' loan to Europe
  • Says USMNT stars must be more selective about moves
  • Sands could feature in MLS this weekend vs Fire

WHAT HAPPENED? Lalas took to Twitter after NYCFC confirmed that James Sands would return to MLS after a loan stint at Rangers, who opted not to exercise their purchase option to permanently sign the young defender/midfielder.

Europe remains the goal for a majority of American players, but Lalas says that players have to be very, very careful about choosing the right club that will give them what they need.

WHAT THEY SAID: "The aspiration/allure for US players to go to Europe is strong and understandable. But the grass is not always greener," Lalas tweeted. "Going to Europe is easy, flights leave every hour. Going to the right place is harder. Good player, wrong place. At NYCFC he can resume moving forward."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sands, the club's first-ever Homegrown signing, was a key member of NYCFC's 2021 MLS Cup-winning squad. While at Rangers, he made a total of 41 appearances and helped the club win the Scottish Cup last season while also reaching the Europa League final.

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James Sands Rangers call for ball 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR SANDS? The NYCFC star could make his return as soon as this weekend as he could be cleared to play in time to face the Chicago Fire.