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NYCFC signs Alexander Ring, Alexander Callens, Sean Johnson to multi-year deals

Two goals from Angelo RodrĂ­guez helped Minnesota defeat NYCFC 2-1 and keep its playoff hopes alive.

New York City FC made a move to keep their defensive core intact, signing midfielder Alexander Ring, defender Alexander Callens and goalkeeper Sean Johnson to new multi-year contracts on Thursday.

Neither financial terms nor exact length of the deals were disclosed, though the team's release confirmed the trio will remain with NYCFC "for 2019 and beyond."

"All three are entering the prime years of their careers, so it's fantastic to keep consistency and stability within the team," NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a statement. "It's exciting news for all of us to tie them down to long-term deals.

"To be able to keep these three players allows us to keep consistent voices in the locker room, players who know what this Club is about and the culture that we've built."

Callens, Johnson and Ring each joined the club ahead of the 2017 season. They have made a combined 190 appearances across all competitions.

Ring, 27, was named an MLS All-Star this season. He's known as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league and has two goals and four assists across 57 games (56 starts) with the club since transferring from German club Kaiserslautern.

"I am very happy with the way the club and the fans have taken care of me and my family," Ring said in a pre-recorded video shared by the team. "The way they have embraced us -- it wasn't a big decision for me to continue here and sign with this great club."

Callens, 26, has played in 63 MLS games the last two seasons since joining NYCFC as a free transfer. He has three goals in that time.

"I am very happy, very happy that the club has confidence in me, and I think the only way to repay that is to work at 100 percent and give it my all," Callens said, via translation, in a team video.

Johnson, 29, spent the first seven seasons of his MLS career with the Chicago Fire. In 62 games with NYCFC, he has 17 shutouts, including a career-high 10 this season.

"I knew that once I played my first game with the club, it was somewhere I wanted to be for a very long time," Johnson said in a team video. "Everybody from the organizational side has made me feel at home: the fans, the front office and my teammates."

NYCFC are third in the Eastern Conference with 53 points this season and have already clinched a playoff berth.

"For me, the commitment, with us three going forward, the expectation is always to lift trophies," Johnson said. "I think us three kind of embody that and we want to spread that. Hopefully, we are here for a very long time and we are able to instill those things in anybody that comes into the club from here on out."

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