HANOVER. N.J. — New York Red Bulls coach Chris Armas was hopeful the team could get a deal done before Major League Soccer’s secondary transfer window closed.
In the 11th hour, he got his wish. The Red Bulls have signed winger Josh Sims on a season-long loan from Southampton, the club announced Wednesday.
“Anytime you can add a piece, yeah you want to improve the team, but also sometimes a little injection of something different, it shakes things up just the right way where it gets everyone going,” Armas told Pro Soccer USA after training Wednesday, hours before the deal was announced.
Sims will be added to the roster as a young designated player pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
“Our goal during this transfer window was to find a young, dynamic player who improves our team,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “We evaluated a lot of options, and Josh’s attributes, plus his Premier League experience, made him our top choice. Josh fits our style of play and our club culture. We look forward to welcoming him in the coming days and working together toward our ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup.”
The 22-year-old came up through the Southampton academy before being promoted to the first team in 2016. He picked up an assist on the decisive goal against Everton on his debut in Nov. 2016. He’s made 26 appearances across all competitions for Southampton’s senior team, including 20 in the Premier League, recording two assists in 573 league minutes.
“We’re thrilled to add a quality player and person like Josh,” Armas said. “He’s an intelligent, dynamic, attacking player that brings a threat in the final third that we are excited about. Josh also understands the demands of our style of play. We look forward to getting him here and getting to work.”
Sims spent last season on loan with Reading in the English Championship where he had three goals and four assists in 18 appearances before rejoining the Saints for the second half of the season under new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, who previously coached RB Leipzig.
He appeared in seven of the final nine matches of the season, helping Southampton stave off relegation.
“I’m delighted to join the team,” said Sims, who has represented England at various youth national levels, most recently in the 2019 Toulon Tournament against U-23 competition. “I can’t wait to come over and meet the fans, players and staff. It’s a brilliant opportunity and I can’t wait to get to work.”
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) August 7, 2019