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New York City FC acquires U.S. international Keaton Parks, 21, on loan from Benfica

With chances for playing time limited at a club the size of Benfica, a loan move to MLS makes perfect sense for 21-year-old Keaton Parks.
With chances for playing time limited at a club the size of Benfica, a loan move to MLS makes perfect sense for 21-year-old Keaton Parks.

New York City FC announced it has added U.S. international Keaton Parks on loan from Benfica for the 2019 season. The 21-year-old midfielder, who broke through last season to make six appearances for Benfica's first team, has played the entirety of this campaign for Benfica B in Portugal's second tier.

Originally from Plano, Texas, Parks first moved to Portugal in 2015 with Varzim before moving to then Portuguese champions Benfica in 2017. The versatile midfielder made his international debut -- to this point his lone cap -- last May against Bolivia and had previously been involved with the U.S. Under-20s.

In a club press release, Parks explained his move to MLS:

"It's the best decision for me right now. It's first division soccer, it's good competition, it's good experience and for me it's the best opportunity for me right now. I'm excited to be able to live in the biggest city in the world and to play with a very well-known Club, a big Club in front of all of our fans. I'm just excited to get started."

In his 42 career appearances for Benfica B, Parks has totalled seven goals and seven assists.

NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna had this to say about the youngster "Keaton is a young and talented player who we are very pleased to add to our squad. He's spent the past few seasons at Benfica and that experience, as well as being an American, will help him make a smooth transition to life in MLS and in New York.

"He is only 21 years old and we believe he will have a strong impact in our midfield. Keaton comes to us highly motivated and ready to take the next step in his career with NYCFC and we look forward to having him at the Club and helping us achieve success on the pitch."

Parks and NYCFC open up the MLS season on March 2 at Orlando City.

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