Ben Sweat covering Diego Fagundez last year. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)
New York City FC announced Friday that Ben Sweat has signed a new contract with the club.
Sweat, a defender, will return for a second season with the Major League Soccer team after he joined as a free agent last February.
Terms of the new deal were unavailable. According to the MLS Players Association, Sweat earned a guaranteed salary of $65,004 last season. Given his performance, it is reasonable to assume the 6-2, 175-lb. left back received a raise.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this league,” Sweat said. “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.”
The 26-year-old Sweat showed he was more than just cover as he was called on to play 26 games after Costa Rican international Ronald Matarrita was sidelined with a broken foot last season.
He acquitted himself well on both sides of the ball, scoring once and assisting on six goals.
“Ben showed last year that he can bring a lot to the football club,” NYCFC head 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.”
Sweat’s lone goal was a beauty, a header that started City to a 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls in a Hudson River Derby encounter at Red Bull Arena. The goal was voted the NYCFC’s fans goal of the season as it won in a landslide, accruing 60 percent of the votes.
“He came in on trial last year and impressed the coaches who were quickly confident that he would be able to contribute to the team and he proved it,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “We all believe Ben has another level and he has the right mentality needed to improve and get better in many aspects. We’re really looking forward to having him with us for the next few years.”