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NYCFC signs defender Ben Sweat to new contract

New York City FC defender Ben Sweat signed a new contract. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)

New York City FC defender Ben Sweat signed a new contract with the club on Friday.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this league,” Sweat said in a statement released by NYCFC. “New York took me in as a trialist last year and put a lot of trust and faith in me and I’m glad I could produce enough for them to keep me around for another couple of years.

“We just started preseason, so I just have to continue to better myself and my performances from last year, to keep giving my all and to give back everything that’s been given to me. I’m super excited to be part of this club and to be back in the Bronx playing at Yankee Stadium in 2018.”

(Photo courtesy of NYCFC)

Sweat, a Palm Harbor, Fla., native, previously played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United Soccer League. He joined NYCFC as a free agent in February of last year. He made 26 appearances during the regular season and totaled six assists and a goal. He also started and played a full 90 minutes in both of the club’s 2017 playoff matches against Columbus.

“Ben showed last year that he can bring a lot to the football club,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “I think he was one of the important players of last year. When someone does well, they deserve to be rewarded and that was the case with Ben.

“There’s a humility about him that I really like, and everything was perfect for us to offer him the new contract. We’re really glad he accepted.”

Sporting director Claudio Reyna said he thinks Sweat has “another level” and will keep improving with the club for the “next few years.”

NYCFC finished the regular season with a 16-9-9 record — second to eventual MLS Cup champion Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference — and fell to Columbus on aggregate in the conference semifinals.

The team is currently in Jacksonville, Fla., preparing for 2018.

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