After missing out on NYCFC’s match against New England, Alexander Ring celebrated the birth of his second daughter with a return to the starting XI and a comeback victory over the Philadelphia Union.
Ring made his presence felt all over the field on Saturday, creating a number of dangerous attacking opportunities and contributing plenty of his trademark physicality on defense. For Ring, treating his family to a dominant performance was icing on the cake.
“It gave me extra power for motivation and the family sat behind me happy,” Ring said, “It was nice to play, I missed the guys and I missed being out on the pitch, even though it was a happy reason why I missed it.”
Ring’s physical attributes are a key component to his game, but his awareness and understanding helped him carve out success on a day when Philadelphia came out with all guns blazing.
“Like I said, Philadelphia strikers ran a lot in the first half, closing us down,” Ring noted, “The whole team did, and I think we knew that they were going to get a bit tired.
“I think the important thing was to stay calm, even though we gave up the first goal.”
That ability to stay calm and focused through adverse conditions was on full display not only for Ring, but the rest of the NYCFC squad as well. After falling a goal behind and having multiple players fall victim to a slippery pitch, City players found a way to tune out that adversity and focus on the ultimate goal.
Ring summed it up by saying, “It was hard, but a bit slippery, but it was the same for everyone. We won 2-1, so I don’t care.
“The pitch could be full of sand, as long as we win, it’s the most important thing for me.”
Before NYCFC fell a goal behind, Ring had a couple of chances to open his NYCFC scoring account. He wasn’t able to hit the mark, but he shrugged off the disappointment just like he shrugged off tough playing conditions -- with a healthy dose of wit.
“Today was the closest I got,” he observed, “The first effort I slipped and hit the post and the second is a great save.
“I would have loved to score, but I think I’m holding them out for more important games.”