By Doug Ward

22nd Apr, 2023 | 5:00pm

Daily Mail journalist Stephen McGowan has mocked James Sands for expecting life in the MLS to be tougher than it was for him at Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

Sands, 22, had his loan spell at Ibrox terminated earlier than expected on 1 March with the versatile defender returning to New York City in the USA.

Speaking to New York’s official club website this week (18 April), Sands said that he wasn’t challenged during his time at Ibrox.

McGowan has laughed off the USA international’s claim.

Writing in the Scottish Daily Mail’s print edition on Saturday (22 April, page 122), McGowan said: “Funny, but there was no sign of a Baresi-in-waiting the night he played centre-half in a 4-0 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead.

“There was no evidence of latent superiority when he played the second half of a 1-1 draw against a Livingston side assembled for the cost of a second-half Vauxhall Astra.

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“Even Giovanni van Bronckhorst couldn’t cop the flak for his performance the day Rangers dropped two points to St Mirren.

“The less said about the 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone, or those displays against Ajax and Napoli in the Champions League, the better.

“When push comes to shove, Sands quit Scotland because there was no way Rangers could justify paying £5million for his services. By the time he left, you wouldn’t have handed £500k to Dick Turpin in a mask.”


If Sands thinks he’s going to get more challenges in the MLS than he did during his time at Rangers, he’s completely and utterly deluded.

The former Ibrox loan flop played in a Europa League final, competed in a title race, played a role in a successful Scottish Cup campaign, played in the Champions League group stages and more.

He’ll get to play against teams who’ve existed for a couple of years in the USA and ageing former Premier League players who are way past their best.

Sure, James. You’ll definitely be more challenged playing against Charlotte FC and Montreal Impact than you did when you played against Celtic, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Frankfurt, Ajax, PSV and Napoli when you were at Rangers.

Sands was an awful signing – one of many by former sporting director Ross Wilson.

We’re just thankful that the £5million option-to-buy agreement was never triggered.

In other Rangers news, after what Michael Beale said, this player may never feature for the Gers again.