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New York City FC signs defender Ben Sweat

The former Columbus Crew man is the second veteran trialist to ink a deal with the good guys this preseason.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

A week after midfielder John Stertzer parlayed an encouraging preseason performance into a contract with NYCFC, Ben Sweat has officially made good in his own right. The 25 year old defensive trialist is the newest member of the Boys in Blue.

“Ben has come in and done really well,” New York City sporting director Claudio Reyna said in today’s official press release. “He’s demonstrated a clear understanding of how Patrick wants this team to play. He’s got a really good left foot and he seems like someone who has adapted to our style right from day one. He knows the league, he’s young and he’s going to be a good addition to this squad.”

Sweat has yet to make his first appearance in MLS play— he never had a chance to feature for the Columbus Crew, who sent him out on loan a to fourth-tier Dayton. After the Crew decided to waive him, the player ended up in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he logged 36 apearances over two seasons. The 6’2” defender figures to add key depth along NYCFC’s famously inconsistent back line, according to his new manager.

“To have Ben in the squad also gives me a good option if we want to play three at the back as he can play on the left-hand side or as one of the three,” Patrick Vieira said. “What is really interesting about him is that he’s really comfortable on the ball and he’s very aggressive when he’s defending. Ben also has a really good spirit, he’s working really hard and he’s a fighter.”

But don’t let anyone tell you that they’re more excited about today’s news than the player himself.

“Watching from afar, from the moment NYCFC joined the league I knew that this one of the best clubs out there to come to as a professional - I couldn’t have landed at a more perfect place,” Sweat said.

Welcome to the Five Boroughs, Ben!