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
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
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)