NEW YORK -- New York City FC midfielder Alex Ring has been traded to expansion side Austin FC in exchange for up to $1.25M in General Allocation Money (GAM).
The club will receive a guaranteed amount of $750,000, with $500,000 in 2021 GAM and $250,000 in 2022 GAM, and an additional $500,000 if certain performance-based incentives are met.
NYCFC sporting director, David Lee, said: “Alex has been one of the most important signings in our history. He raised the level of the team from his first moment with NYCFC and has been an integral part of our club, contributing high-level performances on a consistent basis over the past four seasons. With us he’s had one of the best periods of his career and it’s no coincidence that as a club, we’ve also been very consistent in the MLS regular season during that time.
“It’s never easy to consider losing a player of Alex’s quality, but in a salary cap league we have to make difficult decisions when finding ways to improve the team and we believe the significant offer positions us to improve the roster in 2021. Some of our younger talent in the midfield have also shown in 2020 that they are ready to take on even bigger roles and we’re looking forward to their continued development.
“We wish Alex and his family all the best in Austin and thank him for his commitment to NYCFC over the past four seasons.”
Ring joined NYCFC in 2017 and enjoyed four of his best years as a professional for the boys in blue. The former Finnish international appeared in 120 MLS matches for the club, scoring 10 goals and adding 13 assists.
He was selected to represent the league at the 2018 MLS All-Star Game during a season that cemented his status as one of the league’s best midfielders.
Ring was named club captain ahead of the 2019 MLS season. That year he helped lead NYCFC to a club-record 64 points as NYCFC finished first place in the Eastern Conference. The latter feat qualified the team to the Concacaf Champions League for the first time in club history.
A fan favorite, Ring departs the Bronx as second on the club’s all-time appearance list behind goalkeeper Sean Johnson and having played over 10,000 regular season minutes for NYCFC.
Ring said: “It’s a difficult moment for me to be leaving a club and a city that has given me a lot over the past four seasons. It’s truly been a special part of my career and I can’t thank the players, coaches and front office enough for the support they provided myself and my family since coming to New York in 2017.
“To the supporters, you are amazing. As players, we play for you and I’ll miss each and every one of you. It was an honor to captain your club and I gave everything I had each game. You deserve a lot and I hope my time here met the expectations you have for all those who wear the City blue shirt.
“While I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I leave with only good memories of New York and will cherish them for the rest of my life.”
Everyone at NYCFC wishes The Ringleader all the best at his future club.