New York City FC today announced that the Club has acquired midfielder Keaton Parks on a permanent transfer from S.L. Benfica. He joins NYCFC on a multi-year contract.
The midfielder spent the 2019 season on-loan at NYCFC and made 26 total appearances during his first season in New York. He scored twice and added three assists across all competitions.
Parks said: “I’m really excited to be back at New York City FC on a permanent basis. My first season in New York was incredible, and with most of the guys returning, I know 2020 will be an even better year for the Club.
“Since day one, all of the staff and players have treated me like family. NYCFC really feels like home for me and I know it’s the right place for me during this stage in my career. Staying with the Club will help my growth as a professional.
“I think I played well in 2019 and earned my spot in the starting eleven, but heading into 2020, I’m ready to fight to keep my place and help push this team forward to bigger things.
“My goal for this year is simple - I want to win a trophy. We definitely have the talent to win one and that’s what I want to do with NYCFC. I’m confident we have the squad to do it.”
The 22 year-old Texas native was an integral member of the NYCFC midfield in 2019 and retaining him was a key goal for the Club in the offseason.
NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “We’re delighted to sign Keaton to a long-term contract that will keep him in New York City for the foreseeable future. Getting Keaton back on a permanent basis was one of our main priorities and we’re happy to complete the deal before the team leaves for preseason.
“He had a tremendous impact on our team last year and showed continued development throughout the 2019 season. He displayed his quality as a player on the pitch, and off it he was an incredible presence in our locker room.
“Keaton’s potential as a professional is extremely high. Having already made his debut for the U.S. national team, we believe that he has the capability to become a regular at that level if he continues to develop as he’s done throughout his career.
“Keaton is not only a player that helps us compete for titles in 2020, but can also be a foundation piece of this Club for many years to come.”
Parks became an instrumental part of the lineup in the second half of the season as NYCFC pulled away from their fellow Eastern Conference rivals to finish atop of the conference standings for the first time in Club history.
He also started all three U.S. Open Cup matches and scored his first two goals for the Club in a victory against North Carolina FC. The midfielder added two assists throughout the competition as NYCFC advanced to the quarterfinals.
New NYCFC Head Coach, Ronny Deila, had this to say about the midfielder: “When I watch Keaton, I see a very skilled player with extreme confidence on the ball. He fits in seamlessly with how we want to play in the City style and his performance in 2019 showed that. I know how important he was to our Club last season, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with him for years to come.”
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