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Columbus Crew sign former Colorado Rapids centerback Axel Sjoberg

He has played in just 43 games over the past three seasons, including just seven games in 2019.

Colorado Rapids defender Axel Sjoberg (44) controls the ball in the second half against the New York City FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

COLUMBUS The Columbus Crew announced the club signed centerback Axel Sjoberg off of waivers Wednesday. The former Colorado Rapids defender will help add depth the to the Crew back line after Lalas Abubakar was transferred to the Rapids and Alex Crognale was cut.

Selected 14th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Sjoberg made the MLS Best XI in 2016. He is the only player in the 2015 draft class to do so in his career, despite big names including Cyle Larin and Khiry Shelton. 

Sjoberg was limited by after 2016. He has played in just 43 games over the past three seasons, including just seven games in 2019. His guaranteed compensation was $179,996.00, according to the MLS Players Association. For comparison, Abubakar’s compensation in 2019 was $144,937.50 and Crognale’s was $104,504.40

“We are pleased to welcome Axel Sjoberg to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew SC president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “Axel is a defender whose significant experience in MLS makes him a valuable addition to our roster. We look forward to incorporating him into the team and are excited to begin working with him.”

Sjoberg will likely slot in behind Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, and Aboubacar Keita on the depth chart. The addition of another centerback to the team is still possible. The Crew also transferred Gaston Sauro during the season and could need more depth as Keita is inexperienced and Williams has also struggled with injuries lately. 

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