SEATTLE (CBS) – The Seattle Sounders announced today the signing of Swedish midfielder Gustav Svensson.

Svensson most recently played with Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F, yet a recent CSL rule change limiting the use of non-asian players left the Swede on the outside looking in.

The 29-year-old has played with clubs in his home country, as well as Turkey, Ukraine and China. He also has six caps with the Swedish national team.

“We’re very excited to add Gustav to our roster,” Sounders FC General Manager Garth Lagerway said in a press release. “He brings a wealth of experience, a track record of success and versatility to our team, and we’re eager to see how he impacts our squad in 2017.”

The offseason departure of Erik Friberg left the need for veteran central midfield depth, which the Sounders believe they have found in Svensson.

“He’s got big shoes to fill, cause Erik was great for us. But he’s integrating into the team well, and we have high expectations for him.” head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “He gives us a little bit of versatility. But you can tell he’s played at a very high level. He’s played with the Swedish national team, and he’s a tremendous player.”

Despite just one day of training so far with the team, Schmetzer had high praise for Svensson and the type of player the Sounders are getting in him.

“Very composed on the ball, good passer, good vision, and he’s a big guy. Adds a little height and physicality into the midfield.

Svensson has joined the team in Tuscon, Arizona for the continuation of preseason training and friendlies. The Sounders will play the Portland Timbers this Sunday before a scrimmage against the San Jose Earthquakes.


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