It was three years before Alexander Ring placed himself in front of a camera for a televised interview while at FC Kaisterslatuern in 2. Bundesliga.
“I’m here to play soccer, not to do interviews,” he told the reporter on FCK.TV in August of 2016. Ring spoke with conviction and a warm smile. At 25, he was the oldest player in the squad and his team had given up four goals in a loss on the weekend.
“I have to take responsibility for that,” Ring said.
Ring is the latest addition to the midfield tier at New York City Football Club. The transfer from FCK was finalized ahead of the European deadline and cost NYC an undisclosed amount of Target Allocation Money.
When Ring discovered that NYCFC had a keen interest, he put consistent pressure on his former club to complete a deal.
“It took a long time to get it done but as soon as I knew about the New York option it was clear for me that I wanted to do it,” Ring told NYCFC.com, “I had to fight for it hard but I’m so happy.”
The versatile Ring is most comfortable as a no. 8 but has also been effective in a deep lying role or as an advanced attacking presence. He has 1 goal in 42 National Team appearances.
“I would describe myself as dynamic, aggressive and not so bad on the ball,” said Ring, with eight goals in 76 games for FCK. “I can also score goals but I like to play at the heart of the game in the midfield. Some people see me as a clear no. 6 or as a no. 10 but I think my best position is a box-to-box midfielder.”
“He had a real desire to play for this club and be a part of the project at New York City,” said City coach, Patrick Vieira, one of Ring’s favorite players at Arsenal FC when he first started watching the game at six years old. “We’re really happy to have him on board for 2017 and look forward to him arriving to train with us.”
Ring’s arrival will be delayed pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and the International Transfer Certificate. He is expected to join the team in Tucson, Arizona following City’s friendly in Guayaquil, Ecuador on February 8.
Ring will eventually connect with another versatile acquisition, Panamanian, Miguel Camargo. The 23-year old midfielder has been medically cleared to train after a four month absence following knee surgery. Camargo has been rotating between the wide areas and the no. 10 as Vieira attempts to sort out the midfield third – an area in question heading into 2017 with the departures of Frank Lampard, Federico Bravo plus an injury to Mikey Lopez that will keep him sidelined for up to four months.
Another transfer that City supporters are anxious to observe is Peruvian center back, Alexander Callens, who arrived from the second division of Spain and is awaiting the proper paperwork before he can train. Callens, who commenced his professional career as a striker, has size, strength, pace and the soft feet that Vieira prefers while building out of the back. Callens is expected to compete with Frederic Brilliant as the partner to Maxime Chanot in the central positions where City has lacked quality and depth in the first two years of the franchise.
First round draft choice, Jonathan Lewis, was impressive in an intra-squad scrimmage at the conclusion of Wednesday’s training session. Lewis, still in Orlando with NYCFC despite his selection to the U-20 camp which began on Tuesday, has been inserted consistently on the left wing with MLS sophomore, Jack Harrison, on the right.
“I see myself as a Jack on the left,” said the Akron product. “I like Jack Harrison. I look up to him. He’s not afraid to go out and win games. I play similar to him. I like to get the ball and express myself.”