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Report: NYCFC close to acquiring Keaton Parks on-loan

Keaton Parks has struggled to crack the first team at Portuguese giants Benfica, being reduced to time with the B team this season. However, it looks like the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder could be on his way to Major League Soccer.

According to MLS reports, NYCFC are close to acquiring the 19-year-old on-loan from Benfica for the 2019 season.

Parks moved to Benfica in June of 2017 and has made 42 appearances for the club’s reserves over the past two seasons. 2017-18 saw Parks rack up seven goals and six assists in 29 appearances, while this season he has recorded one assist in 13 matches.

The Plano, Texas native won his only cap with the USMNT last May in a 3-0 friendly win over Bolivia in Chester, PA.

Benfica B returns to domestic play on Wednesday against Vitoria SC B, while NYCFC kicks off their 2019 regular season on March 2nd at Orlando City SC.



  1. I think hes better off playing for NYCFC than the Benfica reserves. Also, the level of competition will be high in MLS, IMO, than with the Portuguese reserve teams. The key is that he gets ample playing time.

  2. What is the purpose ? To put Parks warming the bench? At least in Portugal he’s playing every week in Benfica B..C. Reyna is a complete a.h.

  3. side question here, if you acquire a player on loan does that go through allocation? NYC is way down the order and this is a MNT pool marginal by way of U20. how do they get to take him and not 2/3 of the league? or is the loan an endaround?

    • My understanding is that the allocation order only applies if the player is on the “2019 Allocation Ranking List” (link below — Parks is not included) or has previously been sold by MLS for a certain amount of money. Since this is not the case, effectively the loan move for Parks completed through NYCFC’s Discovery Process One man’s reading of the rules anyway!

      • it doesn’t look like it’s been updated in years. i like AJ and even suggest him as an out of box forward idea if he ever gets healthy and plays in Germany, but that list looks like it dates back to back when he was part of the team. this is precisely the sort of returning YNT player that used to trigger allocation. whole point is to have it where not every kid just dictates i want LA or NY (or the like) as their choice.

      • I would be very surprised if Keaton Parks has any say at all here. I’ve never heard of any unproven 21 year old having much voice in where they are loaned to.

      • I don’t buy it and will dismantle it thusly. I get why not Portugal, they can offer Benfica2 and that hasn’t worked. But why not Europe? Why not some other MLS team? I think some lending teams have relationships or a destination in mind, and intent you come back or net a money return in transfer. I think other times it’s really more like a two-part transfer like Elis to Houston where we pretend year 1 is a loan and so long as they are happy we finalize at the year’s end under an option to buy. I have veto rights but generally you tell me where you want to go since it’s akin to a transfer in intent and result. I also think there are in between cases like Hyndman where he seems to like a particular league on loan and he gets shopped to anyone interested. So I think in some cases it in fact is player choice or agent shopping. I can imagine CFC telling Miazga, ok, go find a gig in the eredivisie this year. His agent shops him, ok, Vitesse this season, CFC signs off. You’re above that now, go sign something like Ligue 1. Miazga finds Nantes. Now if some guy is EPL property and on a short leash, and taken seriously, I could see a less permanent loan to precisely the team they want where they think he will play, accompanied by the right to yank him back from the loan if need demands it. In that case, yeah, you’re going to Villa and better learn to like it, and I may have you back next week if anyone gets hurt.

      • Vitesse is owned by one of the Chelsea owners oligarch buddies and serves as a training spot for Chelsea youngsters so I don’t know how much say Miazga had on those loans. Could well have been you can go to Vitesse or Derby County, but not just free choice. Nantes doesn’t seem to be a regular spot for Chelsea players so probably had more say there.
        I think once you are on the allocation list you stay on, and Parks hasn’t established himself with either the YNT or USMNT to get on it yet. I don’t know if loans apply either, but you would then need to make a trade to institute a buy clause.
        In general, if the loan is to get time for a player on a bigger club the player appears to have not much say, but if the loan is to potentially sell the player to that club at the end of the loan than yes they seem to have more say.

  4. About time he stopped wasting his time trying to become a part of one of the most storied and respected teams in the world when he could be playing in the bottom left corner of a repurposed baseball field in front of 35 – 40 uninterested fans.

  5. While I hate NYCFC, anything to get him more playing time is crucial, as he has stalled a bit this season at Benfica. I haven’t seen much of him, but his touch for a guy at his size is pretty special.


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