RENTON, WASH. - The Seattle Sounders FC has signed Swedish midfielder Erik Friberg, it was announced today. Friberg, 24, played the past four seasons for BK Häcken.
Friberg's signing will be finalized upon receipt of his P-1 visa and International Clearance. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Playing in the middle and sometimes the left side, Friberg was instrumental in winning the ball and setting-up attacks for Häcken. He also scored five times in 94 appearances for the Göteborg club. Friberg (pronounced FREE-burg) first signed as a professional at age 16 with Västra Frölunda IF.
In 2010 Häcken finished eighth in the Allsvenskan, the Swedish first division, after taking fifth the previous season. In 2008, Friberg's first season as a starter, Häcken earned promotion after finishing second in Sweden's second tier, the Superettan.
"This is very exciting, to be coming to Seattle and playing for Sounders," said Friberg. "I want to help the club win as many matches as possible. I work hard, I like to play and my desire to win is plain to see in every match."
"Erik is a player who brings an honest work rate and flair to our midfield," said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "He has a nonstop engine and is versatile with the ability to play in the middle of the park or wide on occasion. His passing will help diversify our attack in 2011."
Said Friberg: "I heard during the summer that they were looking at me, and immediately I let it be known that I want to play there, in Seattle. Everyone I speak with says it's a great city, and the fans are the best in the U.S. I believe it's going to be a very, very good year."
"Erik is a tactically smart midfielder and very versatile," said Chris Henderson Sounders FC technical director. "He has good technique and a good soccer brain. We expect him to contribute and compete for a position centrally or wide."
Friberg made his senior team debut in 2005 with Västra Frölunda at age 19. His contract was purchased in 2007 by Häcken, where his father, Peter Friberg, had also played as a professional.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders (MLS) - Signed MF Erik Friberg
Birthplace: Lindome, Sweden
Hometown: Göteborg, Sweden
Last Club: BK Häcken (2007-2010)
Previous Clubs: Västra Frölunda IF (2005-2006)
Erik Friberg Career Statistics
Season GP/GS (Goals)
2005 Västra Frölunda IF 25/24 (2)
2006 Västra Frölunda IF 7/7 (1)
2007 BK Häcken 14/4 (0)
2008 BK Häcken 25/21 (2)
2009 BK Häcken 28/24 (3)
2010 BK Häcken 27/19 (0)
Totals 126/99 (8)