U.S. U-17 defender Tavyon Gray turns pro with NYCFC

U.S. under-17 national team defender Tayvon Gray signed his first pro contract with New York City FC after spending three seasons in the MLS club's academy program.

Gray is NYCFC’s fourth player to graduate from its academy program after James Sands, Joe Scally and Justin Haak. NYCFC won the 2018 and 2019 U-19 Development Academy program.

“I’m very excited to sign with New York City FC," Gray said. "I’m a Bronx kid and this is my hometown team, so to start my professional career in New York City is a dream come true. When I first heard about NYCFC, the team was very new, but once I saw what the Club was all about, I definitely wanted to play for them. I’ll be proud to represent my team in the Bronx. My family is still here, so it will be very exciting to have them at games."

Tayvon Gray and twin brother Kayvon joined NYCFC from Cedar Stars Academy in 2017.

“Tayvon’s pathway to professional soccer is a great success story," said NYCFC academy director Sam Pugsley. "He started in the talent centers that we run and after performing well, he came into the academy, and coming from the Bronx, it’s extra special."

Of the 18 players on the 2019 U.S. U-17 World Cup team with ties to MLS academies, 10 have signed with MLS teams or their USL second teams.

2019 U.S. U-17 World Cup team:
Signed with MLS team:
Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids)
George Bello (Atlanta United)
Gianluca Busio (Sporting KC)
Tayvon Gray (New York City FC)
Daniel Leyva (Seattle Sounders)
Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders)
Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)
*Joe Scally (New York City FC)
Griffin Yow (D.C. United)
*Will join Borussia Moenchengladbach when he turns 18.

Signed with MLS second team:
Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy)

Left MLS academy to turn pro:
Damian Las (Chicago Fire --> Fulham/ENG)
Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps --> Leicester City/ENG)
Bryang Kayo (D.C. United --> Orange County SC)
Gio Reyna (New York City FC --> Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Still in MLS academy:
Nicolas Carrera (FC Dallas)
Ethan Dobbelaere (Seattle Sounders)
Andres Jasson (New York City FC)

No longer with academy team:
Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy)
3 comments about "U.S. U-17 defender Tavyon Gray turns pro with NYCFC".
  1. Goal Goal, November 27, 2019 at 10:20 p.m.

    After watching the results of The U17 World Cup you can see why the MLS can see themselves benefiting from these signings. It’s just more proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

  2. frank schoon replied, November 29, 2019 at 11:58 a.m.

    HT, well said.....Now that they signed him to a contract is to immediately send him to Brazil for a year or two to fully download on technical soccer. I mean, If I were running the show at NYFC that's how I  would invest in my young players

  3. R2 Dad, November 28, 2019 at 11:31 a.m.

    Great story--local kid signing for the home-town club. There should be at least a couple of these every year, at every club.

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