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Former RSL man John Stertzer signs on at NYCFC

The defensive midfielder was drafted by RSL and played four years at the club.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Former Real Salt Lake midfielder John Stertzer has landed at New York City FC, joining the club after his option was declined at RSL.

Stertzer, 26, played with RSL from 2013 to 2016 after being drafted in the first round by the club. Appearances in his first two years were very limited, with a series of unfortunate injuries costing him opportunities.

In 2013, he suffered a shoulder injury in a reserves match that kept him out for the remainder of the season. In 2014, he suffered a broken leg in a friendly against Club Tijuana.

Stertzer then played intermittently in 2015 and 2016, earning nine starts both years and playing in 19 and 18 matches, respectively.

Stertzer ended his RSL career with a single MLS goal to his name, and it came against — you guessed it — New York City FC.

In a New York City FC press release, coach Patrick Vieira praised Stertzer’s movement inside the box — a quality he didn’t have much time to show at Real Salt Lake when played in more defensive roles in the 4-3-3, but one he did show in glimpses in 2014 before his injury.

“The timing of his runs inside the box is really good - he’s always at the right place at the right time and his finishing is excellent,” Vieira said.