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Midfielder Keaton Parks signs multi-year deal with New York City FC

The 22-year-old became an integral part of NYCFC’s midfield in the final three months of the 2019 season

Keaton Parks (55) of NYCFC controls ball during regular MLS game against Columbus Crew SC at Yankee stadium in New York, NY on August 21, 2019. NYCFC won 1 - 0. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Sipa USA)

Midfielder Keaton Parks has signed a new multi-year contract with New York City FC, which acquired him on a permanent transfer from S.L. Benfica, the club announced Wednesday.

“I’m really excited to be back at New York City FC on a permanent basis,” Parks said in a statement. “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.”

The 22-year-old spent 2019 on loan with NYCFC and made 26 total appearances, including 14 starts in the second half of the season when he became an integral part of the club’s midfield. Parks has the versatility of playing as a No. 6, a No. 8 or a No. 10.

“We’re delighted to sign Keaton to a long-term contract that will keep him in New York City for the foreseeable future,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. “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.”

Parks’ season-long loan spell ended Dec. 31 and it was believed he’d be returning to Portugal, but the native of Plano, Texas’ return should be huge for NYCFC under the guidance of new coach Ronny Deila.

“When I watch Keaton, I see a very skilled player with extreme confidence on the ball,” Deila said. “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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