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Austin FC Acquires Alex Ring Through Trade with NYCFC

Austin FC announced Thursday that Alex Ring, an MLS All-Star and a mainstay of the NYCFC midfield for the past four seasons, has been acquired by trade for the Club. 

Ring, 29, a former Finnish international player with 44 appearances for the senior national team, came to MLS in 2017 after developing and then playing in both Finland and Germany. At NYCFC, Ring excelled immediately, with the club naming him Newcomer of the Year in his first season. In 2018, Ring was named to the MLS All-Star Team, and started in the match against Juventus. For the Full Press Release click here. 

Over four seasons at NYCFC, Ring made 113 appearances, starting in 112 of those matches, and collecting 10 goals and 13 assists in the just over 10,000 MLS minutes he’s logged so far. While he was most often deployed in a central midfield role for the club, he’s also slotted in situationally as a wing or even as a central defender. He also served as NYCFC’s captain for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. 

Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, who knows Ring well from their time together in New York, is pleased to add Ring to Austin FC’s growing roster. 

“We’re very excited to add Alex to our squad,” Reyna said. “He’s highly regarded in MLS, a leader, a player who can play multiple positions. He’s been a key piece of one of the best teams in the League over the last four years.” 

Reyna noted that Ring contributes to all phases of a club’s success, observing, “He sets a high standard in training, he’s someone who’s a really tough professional, and as far as his quality goes, both on and off the field, he’s going to be a great addition for our Club.” 

“He’ll help us tremendously to lay the foundation for not only the first year, but the first chapter of Austin FC,” he added.  

Head Coach Josh Wolff is also excited about Ring coming to the Club. 

“We're building a team that's going to have a nice blend of domestic and international players, as well as youth and experience. Alex will bring a level of professionalism and respect that is going to be instrumental in building our culture.
“On the field, we want a real presence, we want experience, we want leadership and Alex Ring is all of those things,” Wolff stated. “He's an exceptional talent. If he hasn't been the best center midfielder in MLS in the last three or four years, he's certainly been amongst the best, and we're very excited to bring him to Austin FC.”

In exchange for Ring, NYCFC will receive $750,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM).

Ring, who was born in Helsinki but grew up in Germany and Belgium, developed in the youth system for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, one of Germany’s top clubs. He began his pro career in 2009 in Finland. He first played professionally in Germany in 2012, going on loan to Borussia Mönchengladbach and scoring in a Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv. 

In 2013, Ring moved to 1. FC Kaiserslatuern, then a second-division Bundesliga team, and played there for four years. That included a 2014-15 campaign with six goals in 24 league appearances. 

Ring retired from international play in September 2018, after seven years with Finland’s national team. He debuted in 2011, and notably scored in a September 2017 qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup in a 1-1 draw with Iceland, one of two goals he registered in his time with the team.  

Ring will bring all that experience to Austin FC, becoming the 12th player to join the Club, and the 10th in a flurry of December activity that included Tuesday’s Expansion Draft and a busy half-day trade window on Sunday.