The Seattle Sounders have signed Sweden international Gustav Svensson, the club announced on Monday.
Swedish outlet Expressen had earlier reported that Svensson had already agreed to a two-year deal with the reigning MLS Cup champions.
Svensson will likely take over the role in midfield that Erik Friberg occupied last year, that of playing anywhere in the center of midfield, be it a holding role or more advanced. Friberg's option was declined by the Sounders after the season, and he has since returned to his native Sweden, signing with BK Hacken.
- Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) January 31, 2017
Svensson, 29, spent last season with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F, making 28 appearances. But the CSL's more restrictive rules on foreigners, which now reduced the number that can be on the field at one time from four to three have seen some players depart CSL clubs.
Svensson has previously played for Ukrainian side Tavirya Simferopol, Turkish club Bursaspor, as well as IFK Goteborg in his native Sweden. He has made six appearances for Sweden's national team.
The news is less clear regarding the Sounders' interest in winger Steve Zakuani. Zakuani retired in 2014, unable to shake off the effects of a horrific broken leg he suffered back in 2011. Zakuani, 29, trained as a guest player with the Sounders last fall and is taking part in the Sounders training camp in Tucson, Arizona.
But when asked if Zakuani's status fell between a trial and just training, manager Brian Schmetzer told the Seattle Times, "I would say that's fair."