Gustav Svensson is awesome.
The 31-year-old defensive midfielder is an important asset in the Seattle Sounders' lineup, playing in 56 matches over the past two seasons. He also helped Sweden reach the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is an all-around lovable guy.
Last year during preseason, "Goose" provided some insight on a few of his thoughts. We decided to do it again.
Thought 1: Switching back to MLS after the World Cup was an emotional struggle
“I was emotionally empty. The hardest thing was that all of my teammates in Sweden got three or four weeks of vacation after, so they could just relax and feel happy for what we did. I knew I had to come back and fulfill my duty with the Sounders and make sure I am doing a good job. We were doing really well in World Cup, and at the same time you see your teammates suffering because we don’t have the points we need to go to the playoffs. I followed all of the games. Some of them I even watched live in the middle of the night in Russia. That was hard.”
Thought 2: Seattle and Gothenburg, Sweden are similar
“Seattle and Gothenburg, where my other home is, are very similar. Similar people, similar lifestyles, similar temperatures. Geographically it’s pretty much the same. Seattle has a good mixture of fanatics who like sports and enough people who don’t really care about that but are nice people. In Europe people talk to you because you’re a soccer player. Here, people talk to you just because they’re friendly. I am very happy my family loves living in Seattle. It was an easy decision for my family to say ‘Yes, we want to stay here for a third year.’ It’s always hard when you like being in one place and your family doesn’t. This is one of the places where I like to be here and my family likes to be here, too. My son is four years old and he asks every day when he is going back to Seattle. It’s a nice thing and I am happy we found a place we really like.”
Thought 3: Social off the field, but in the shadows on the pitch
“I have always lived with that. I have always been that kind of player. I do my work in the shadow, in the quiet. Sometimes a personality doesn’t reflect the same way on the pitch. I am very happy and very grateful for all the respect that Sounders fans give me because that makes my job easier. I am not doing this for the glamour or the fame. I do it because I love soccer and the love of the game. I would run until my leg falls off to win a game. It’s a nice feeling when you get it. For all the small things I do, it’s nice to get something back from it.
"Hello" - Gustav Svensson
Thought 4: Good vibes in the locker room
"It was very easy to come to Seattle right away. I felt welcome. It’s a very easy group to be social. A very open group of open-minded people. And I like that. I like the competition and the training and the games and feel the social vibes in the locker room. Maybe Americans are more open minded for new players. There isn’t a rivalry between two players at the same position. In Europe, you play dirty against the guy you’re competing with to make sure you have that spot. It’s more life and death in Europe with some teams. Here it’s more friendly, in a good way. It’s not like 'here, take my spot' with open arms, but there is no hard feelings."
Thought 5: It’s all about MLS Cup
“We’ve come close the past two years, even if last year we didn’t make the final. Penalty kicks is as close as you can get to the next round and my first year we lost in Toronto. And the worst feeling about that is that we didn’t come up to our standards in the Toronto game. That is probably the worst one. That will be in my head for a long time. The only way to make it go away is to win the damn thing. That’s the goal. That’s the reason I wanted to stay a third year. I have the goal, I have the ambition, I have so much more I want to give so I can bring the trophy back to Seattle.”