NYCFC duo named among most promising under-21s in the world

Atlas FC v New York City FC - 2022 Campeones Cup. Mike Stobe/GettyImages.
Atlas FC v New York City FC - 2022 Campeones Cup. Mike Stobe/GettyImages. / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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CIES recently released a list of the top-200 most promising players in the world born after January 1st, 2002 (U-21s). The rankings are broken into the top 10 players at 20 different position-ish groups. Talles Magno and Tayvon Gray from New York City FC were two of the six players from MLS included in the rankings.

Talles Magno, 20 years old, was ranked as the fourth most promising all-around left winger.

NYCFC signed Magno from Vasco da Gama in his home nation of Brazil in the summer of 2021 for a reported transfer fee of $8m. He is categorized in MLS as a Young Designated Player.

He had his full breakout season this past year in 2022 with a seven goal, ten assist effort . Magno also completed 80.9% of his passes and made 31 key passes (which was third most on the team), playing 2,604 minutes on the season.

Talles Magno and Tayvon Gray recognized as Top U-21 Talents

In 2021, Magno scored two goals across 15 matches (five starts) as he helped lead New York to the MLS Cup title after his mid-season acquisition.

Magno should continue to star for New York at winger in 2023, and another good year or two should propel him into a big move to Europe in his near future.

Magno has a projected value of $16m according to Transfermarkt, and a $12.9m estimated value according to the CIES report.

Tayvon Gray, also 20 years old, was ranked as the fourth most promising two-way right-back.

Gray also begun his breakout this past season as he made 22 starts (and appeared in five other matches as a sub). He contributed two assists on the year. Gray completed 82.4% of his passes and played 31 accurate long balls.

Tayvon Gray
New York City FC v New England Revolution. Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Gray also made his debut in 2021 when he had one assist across ten appearances (three starts). He played 375 minutes, and was signed as a homegrown in late 2019.

Anton Tinnerholm, who was NYCFC's other main RB, is set to leave NYCFC this offseason. Tinnerholm was limited to just ten matches in 2022 due to injury. That somewhat opened the door for Gray (which he burst right through) in 2022. That also should entrench Gray as the locked in starting RB heading into the season (if that wasn't the case already).

Gray is also behind former NYCFC homegrown signee Joe Scally, who was sold to Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2019 (stayed with NYCFC through the 2020 season) for roughly $2m plus add-ons. Scally is ranked as the second most promising two-way RB.

I expect Gray to stay as NYCFC's starting RB until he is likely eventually sold to Europe at some point.

Gray has a projected value of $1.6m according to Transfermarkt, and a $4.5m estimated value according to the CIES report.

NYCFC having two current players on this list (plus another former product) is a great place for the club to be. It gives concrete evidence to just how promising some of these young NYCFC players are (plus how good they have been at developing talent). I think this is something to be proud of for NYCFC and their fans.

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