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U.S. U-17 and NYCFC defender Scally signs with Borussia Monchengladbach in seven-figure transfer

20:01 GMT+3 13/11/2019
Scally Vieira NYCFC
The teenage right-back will remain in MLS next season after making his first-team debut in the U.S. Open Cup this year

Borussia Monchengladbach have confirmed the signing of New York City FC and U.S. under-17 men's national team defender Joe Scally.

The 16-year-old will make the move to the Bundesliga in January 2021, by which time he will have turned 18.

According to NYCFC, who finished top of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference this season, the initial transfer fee will be the highest paid for a 16-year-old in the history of the league. The seven-figure fee could eventually “become one of the highest transfer fees received for an MLS player being transferred to a European club” once bonuses and add-ons are taken into account. ESPN has reported that the exact figure is $2 million and could rise to $7 million with add-ons.

“I was very excited when I heard the news about the transfer to Borussia Monchengladbach,” Scally said.

“As a kid you always want to play in Europe and in one of the best leagues in the world. I couldn’t be happier. Looking towards next season, I hope to play a lot of minutes and help out the team as much as I can as we look to achieve our goals. It’s always the same for us, to finish first in the league and win MLS Cup.”

New York City only joined MLS as an expansion side in 2015, but have already produced some promising homegrown talent, including local midfielder James Sands, and Giovani Reyna, son of NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio, who is now at Borussia Dortmund.

“It’s very exciting for Joe to move to the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach and play in one of the best leagues in the world,” Claudio Reyna said of their latest export.

“He’ll remain with us for the 2020 season, but during that time he’ll be able to go over to Germany and begin adapting to those surroundings, so when he goes in January 2021, he is able to hit the ground running.

“He’s still 16 years old, so he has a lot of growth and development still to come. He works extremely hard, is very competitive, strives to get better and is a winner. 

“This move is a culmination of work from our Academy staff and the Club to build him up from when he arrived as a 13-year-old to where he is today. I personally want to recognize the entire Academy for the work they’ve done in developing Joe. It’s extremely exciting for the Club and we’re very happy for him.”

Long Island native, Scally, was part of the United States U-17 squad which recently travelled to Brazil for the U-17 World Cup but failed to make it past the group stage. He played the full 90 minutes at right-back in each game, assisting Gianluca Busio’s goal against Senegal in the opener.