Written by Chris P. of NYCFC Nation
Pull up the MLS All-Star ballot right now. Cast your vote for Alexander Ring.
Ok, I get it, some of you have been living under a rock and haven’t seen the man grace the field for New York City FC and need convincing.
Ring knows that nothing in life that's worth anything is easy. He gave up starting for Kaiserslautern in Germany and playing for the Finnish national team to take a chance to play for Patrick Vieira in New York City. Since arriving in New York last season, Ring has been one of the first names on the team sheet for NYC.
Making a mark in MLS, and in the eyes of New Yorkers isn’t easy. If it was, everybody would do it. Alexander Ring had made his mark and it hasn’t been by running his mouth about his opponents or his off the field antics. Ring is a man of few words, and rightly so, since he lets his actions on the field do all the talking.
The man could easily pass for the Terminator. He takes hits and keeps coming back for more, and he only has one goal - win. But don’t be mistaken, he’s not a brute enforcer out to hurt people. The man from Helsinki performs tackles with a near surgical level of precision. Ring has only conceded 16 fouls this season which barely puts him in the top 50 in MLS this season (He’s tied for 44th). His passes are crisp, and his vision is fantastic, completing 88.2% of all of his passes. He does it all, including scoring bangers from long range. He twisted his knee, was expected to be out for a month and was back after only missing two matches.
His presence on the field is palpable even if he’s not touching the ball. All you have to do is look at opposition heat maps after a match to figure out where Ring was set up. (I’ll give you a hint, it’s the big blue spot on the field that the other team didn’t want to go near.) Teams have to play differently when he’s out there, and his ability on defense coupled with his vision make him a threat on either side of the ball for NYCFC.
Ring is a no-nonsense type of guy. He keeps his head down and works hard. Nothing has been given to him, he’s the perfect example of a New Yorker. Like the guy at your local bodega, coffee spot, or bar, he works hard and proves himself day in and day out. He’s the first one to show up and the last one out the door and never quits. He does it because he loves what he does, he does it even if no one is giving him awards for putting in the work that he does every day. I think that last part should change. Vote for Alexander Ring for the 2018 MLS All-Star game.