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Following the team’s horrific 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Cascadian rivals Portland Timbers, fans of Seattle Sounders FC got some much-needed good news on Monday afternoon.
The club announced via their official website (announcement available here) that they had signed former Sounder and Swedish international Erik Friberg from Esbjerg in the Danish Superliga, who will join the team once MLS’ summer transfer window opens on July 8th.
Friberg played 34 times for the Sounders in their 2011 season; 26 times in regular season MLS, twice in the US Open Cup, 4 times in the CONCACAF Champions League, and twice in the MLS playoffs. Over those 34 appearances, Friberg tallied a 1 goal and 1 assist.
Since leaving Seattle, the 29 year old Swede played 61 times for Malmö in the Swedish top flight (scoring 6 times and earning 3 assists), 7 times for Bologna in the Serie A, and most recently 16 times for Esbjerg in the Danish top flight.
Friberg’s impressive ability was rewarded with a call-up to the Swedish national team in 2012, allowing him to play twice for his home country in 2-0 and 5-0 wins over Bahrain and Qatar respectively.
Sounders Sporting Director Chris Henderson described Friberg as “a smart tactical player” who “has the ability to put players out of the game with his forward passing”, certainly traits that will excite Sounders fans.
Friberg will add to an already impressive Seattle Sounders central midfield that currently boasts designated player Osvaldo Alonso, Mexican International Gonzalo Pineda, Andy Rose, Cristian Roldan, Micheal Azira, and recently-acquired Brazilian dribbling maestro Thomás. His overall quality will most probably cause a selection battle between himself, Pineda, Rose, Roldan and Thomás for the second starting central midfield spot alongside Osvaldo Alonso once the Sounders return to full fitness.
The Sounders’ next game is on July 3rd against Eastern Conference leaders DC United, which Friberg will be ineligible to play in as MLS’ transfer window does not open until the 8th, but he could be set to play for the Rave Green in their away match against the Chicago Fire.