Austin FC have acquired New York City FC midfielder Alex Ring in exchange for up to $1.25 million in General Allocation Money if performance-based incentives are hit, it was announced Thursday.
It would be the largest allocation ever for a non-US national team player in MLS history.
Ring, the 29-year-old defensive midfielder, reunites with Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna, who signed him from Kaiserslautern ahead of the 2017 when he was sporting director of NYCFC.
“We are very excited to add Alex to our squad. He is a highly regarded MLS player who can play in multiple positions,” Reyna said in a statement. “He has been a key piece in one of the best MLS teams in the last four to five years. He sets a high standard in training and is someone who is a top professional. Alex will be a great addition to our club.”
“I am looking forward to this new challenge and opportunity with Austin,” added Ring. “It’s exciting to be a part of something from the very beginning. I have seen the progress with the stadium and St. David’s Performance Center and the hype around the city and the club. I can’t wait to join my teammates and meet our fans.”
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) December 17, 2020
New York City FC receive $500,000 in 2021 GAM and $250,000 in 2022 GAM with an additional $500,000 if certain performance-based incentives are met for the former Finnish international.
Ring was a regular starter in his four seasons with NYCFC, with 10 goals and 13 assists in 113 regular season appearances, earning an MLS All-Star nod in 2018. He was named the club’s captain ahead of the 2019 season.
During the 2020 season, Ring was moved from his usual spot as a No. 6, where James Sands has thrived, to fill a need at left wing.
"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." #NYCFC pic.twitter.com/usuhgs5ZiY
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) December 17, 2020
“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,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “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.”