James Sands was scathing of the Scottish Premiership when his ill-fated Rangers loan spell came to an abrupt end. 

Sands, 23, struggled to cement a regular place in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's starting XI and his deal was cut short six months early in January 2023, allowing him to return to parent club New York City FC. And at the time he claimed he was excited to head back to the MLS because it would offer him a 'better' challenge than the Scottish top-flight. 

Fast forward 14 months and Sands has found himself out of Gregg Berhalter's USA squad for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League semi-final against Jamaica on Thursday. And the 13-time capped defender believes the snub could be down to his counterparts playing in Europe. 

"A lot of time with a national team, it’s just not something you can control day to day," Sands told the Daily Mail.

"I can't be calling him every day. He's not watching me in training every day. So you find a way to sort of put it in the back of your mind and focus on how you’re playing with your club team.

READ MORE: Rangers winger Ross McCausland to miss Northern Ireland friendly match

"I am always trying to get called up to the national team, but I understand now that most of those guys are playing in Europe. So it does make it hard playing in the MLS."

It's always going to be the coach's decision for the national team. And he's always going to place a little more value on the guys who are playing in the top European leagues, which I would too. That's how the world works.

"All I can do is put in good performances here and hopefully they notice."