Sands’ stay at the Ibrox-based club was cut short by three months with the player returning to the MLS club on Wednesday.


Lee is now counting on the experience Sands has gathered while playing in the Europa League and the Champions League to help New York City over the course of the new MLS campaign.



He further took time to thank Ross Wilson, his counterpart at Rangers, for the Gers’ cooperation in helping the MLS club bring Sands back.


Lee has a strong belief that the spell at Ibrox since January 2022 has enhanced Sands’ development.



“We are delighted to welcome James back to New York”, Lee told his club’s official website.


“He has gained valuable experience playing in Europe over the past 13 months, including playing in both the Europa League and helping Rangers to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 2010/11.



“I’d like to thank Ross Wilson and Rangers FC for their cooperation in allowing James to return now and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of their season.


“His time with Rangers has enhanced his development and we are excited for him now to return to New York and play a critical role for our Club in 2023 and beyond.”


Sands slipped down the pecking order at Rangers and Gers boss Michael Beale was content to let him leave early.