BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY December 15, 2019 8
NYCFC soccer club signs
fi rst ever Bronx resident
BY JASON COHEN
While most kids at 17 are
preparing for college or taking
the SATs, Bronx resident
Tayvon Gray is set to make his
professional soccer debut next
Gray, who resides in Gun
Hill, will join the NYCFC soccer
team Saturday, January
11, 2020 making him the team’s
fi rst-ever Bronxite.
The youngster, who has
been in the spotlight since joining
the New York City Football
Club in 2017 representing their
Under-17 team, is eager to show
he can make a difference and
help the team succeed.
“Since I’ve come into the
academy, my goal was to one
day make it to the fi rst team,”
Gray said in a press release.
“I’ve been able to train and go
on preseason with them before,
but to now sign a professional
contract is an amazing feeling.
I’m ready to work as hard as I
can to help this team achieve
what we all want, to win the
Gray told the Bronx Times
soccer runs in his blood, as his
father Kevin Gray played professionally
From a young age there was
only one thing he loved, soccer.
“I grew up playing soccer
my whole life,” he said.
He attended high school in
Hackensack, NJ and played for
a club there, the Cedar Stars.
With tutelage from his father,
his passion for the sport, practice
and training, he became a
star on the pitch.
Every time he steps on the
fi eld he is fi lled with confi dence.
He is never scared of bigger
players or competition.
Gray noted that soccer
helped him stay away from the
violence and crime in Gun Hill.
“It (soccer) defi nitely humbled
me,” he explained. “I don’t
come from so much. Hopefully, I
can have a lot in the future.”
Gray has been a centerpiece
of the NYCFC Academy since
joining the club in 2017 with the
They count on you,
Bronx resident Tayvon Gray, the fi rst player on NYCFC from the Bronx Photo Courtesy NYCFC
Medicare Advantage with
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In 2019, he anchored the
backline on the U-19 team who
became the fi rst club to win
back-to-back U-19 U.S. Development
Academy National Championships.
Gray was one of fi ve academy
players to join the club’s
2019 preseason in Abu Dhabi
and continued to train with the
fi rst team regularly throughout
Recently, he started two
matches for the United States
U-17 National Team at the FIFA
U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
Now, as a member of the
team it’s like everything in
his life that he’s worked hard
for has come to to fruition. He
looks forward to the season and
feels he has a bright future.
“I’ve been playing against
older guys since I was a young
age,” he said. “I think I can handle
the pressure pretty well. I
feel awesome to be on the team
and I can’t wait to get the season
So count on us to
keep you going.
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