Erik Friberg
Courtesy of BK Häcken

Sounders bolster MF with young Swede Friberg

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders announced on Thursday that they have officially added Swedish midfielder Erik Friberg. The 24-year-old’s addition bolsters a midfield unit that lost Sanna Nyassi and Nathan Sturgis through the Expansion Draft.

Friberg played the past four seasons with Swedish first-division outfit BK Häcken.

According to a team release, Friberg plays primarily in the middle or the left side of midfield. His history shows he is not a goal-scorer – he scored only five times in 94 appearances for the Göteborg-based club.

Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid classified Friberg as a good passer and tireless worker.

"Erik is a player who brings an honest work rate and flair to our midfield," Schmid said in the release. "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."

The move does not come as a surprise. General manager Adrian Hanauer had responded to a question about Friberg last week during a live chat on the Seattle Times website.

At 24 years of age, Friberg joins a young midfield unit that includes Osvaldo Alonso (25), Brad Evans (25), Álvaro Fernández (25) and Steve Zakuani (22). With the left side of midfield occupied by Zakuani, Friberg would likely battle Evans for a starting spot beside Alonso in central midfield.

Notebook

There’s nothing like a trip to Las Vegas to chase the winter blues away. This weekend, Sounders FC coaching staff will hold a player combine in the Las Vegas area for the second consecutive year.

A year ago, the Sounders FC combine attracted players including Tim Ream, Eric Alexander and Steven Beitashour. In all, 12 combine participants were chosen in the MLS SuperDraft, including David Estrada, Seattle’s first-round draft pick in 2010, and fourth-round Seattle selection Jamel Wallace.

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