Sean Johnson succeeded Alex Ring as NYCFC captain. (USA TODAY Photo)
New York City FC announced Wednesday that goalkeeper Sean Johnson was appointed team captain.
He succeeds Alex Ring, who was dealt to expansion team FC Austin in the offseason, as skipper.
Johnson, 31, who was acquired by the Major League Soccer team in 2017, has made 116 regular season appearances for NYCFC.
“My first reaction honestly, I’m humbled and honored,” Johnson was quoted on NYCFC.com. “It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. This club means everything to me. From the first time I came here in 2017, the club welcomed me with open arms, the front office, the players, the fans. It’s felt like family since I’ve been here.
“For me now, going on into year five, being a veteran leader of this group, I understand what it means to play for this club. I think it’s making sure that there’s a certain standard that’s upheld. We want every player that comes in to realize what it means to put a jersey on for this club, and I’ll do everything that I can to make sure that happens.”
NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said he believed his decision to appoint Johnson as captain reflects the culture he is trying to establish.
“First of all, he is a fantastic role model,” Deila said. “Attitude-wise, he is everything that we want, and he is very intelligent. He knows how to get a group together and is a leader by nature. He is also an important player for us on the pitch as well.
“We are starting to get a lot of good leaders now, and Sean is in charge of them, and that’s going be very good for the team. I’ve been talking a lot about togetherness and bonding more outside the pitch.
“What you do outside the pitch, you will take with you into the pitch as well. That’s the way we’ve worked together on the pitch now with defensive structure, hard work, helping each other, supporting each other. That’s the foundation of having a good culture.”
Johnson will begin his captaincy when City opens its 2021 MLS campaign at D.C. United at Audi Field Saturday night.