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Josh Sims departs New York Red Bulls, returns to Southampton


Winger Josh Sims has departed the New York Red Bulls and returned to Southampton FC following the expiration of his loan, the club announced Wednesday. Sims had been a Young Designated Player for RBNY.

The Red Bulls didn't exercise options to extend Sims' time with the club, though sporting director Denis Hamlett noted Sims' desire to return to England.

“In light of the ongoing effects of the global pandemic and all of the uncertainties that remain, we understand Josh’s wishes to be closer to home and have come to an agreement with Southampton to recall the player,” Hamlett said in a statement.

Sims, 23, initially joined RBNY towards the end of last season and made a total of nine appearances (five starts) in regular-season play. His lone goal for the club came in their Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs loss to the Philadelphia Union

He's a product of Southampton's famed academy and was promoted to the first team in 2016. In addition to his pro experience, Sims has featured for England at several youth international levels, most recently in the 2019 Toulon Tournament, the famed youth event that takes place annually in the south of France.

Sims made his English Premier League debut for Southampton in November 2016, picking up an assist in the first minute of the game. In total, he made 26 appearances for the Saints across all competitions, including 20 in the EPL. Sims also spent time on loan with Reading during the first half of the 2018-19 season, recording three goals and four assists in 18 appearances. He was then called back to rejoin Southampton, where he appeared in seven of their final nine matches to help the club maintain its Premier League status.

Southampton currently sit in 13th place in the recently-resumed Premier League season. They have six matches left and successfully navigated a relegation battle, nearing their stay in England's top flight. 

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