Editorial (July 30, 2017) – The Colorado Rapids announced this week that they have signed Axel Sjoberg to a three year contract extention. His new contract will begin at the conclusion of the 2017 MLS season. This is a great move for both parties.
Axel Sjoberg Contract Extension: A Good Move For All Parties
Sjoberg was drafted by the Rapids in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in the first round. Currently in his third season with the club, he has 51 starts, 4,571 minutes played, two goals, and one assist. Last season he was a Defender of the Year nominee and was named the Best XI. His contract was set to expire at the end of this season.
“Securing Axel for the next three years was a top priority for us this season,” said Interim General Manager and Sporting Director, Padraig Smith. “Axel’s level of commitment and work ethic have made him one of the best defenders in Major League Soccer and we look forward to his continued contributions for years to come.”
With his new deal, Sjoberg will be with the Colorado Rapids through the end of the 2020 MLS season. He’ll be 29-years-old by then. There is a club option for 2021 as well. The Swedish International recently acquired his green card, so he will no longer take up an International Roster Slot under the MLS roster regulations.
Why This Is Good For Both Parties:
First and foremost for the club, it locks down their most important defender for the forseeable future. Sjoberg is set to make around $100,000 this year. We haven’t learned the details of his new contract, but even with a substantial pay raise, he’s probably not taking up any of Colorado’s TAM.
For Axel, this is some well-deserved job security. He’s been one of the better defenders the last few years in MLS and he absolutely deserved to be nominated for Defender of the Year in 2016. He clearly enjoys playing for the Colorado Rapids and living in the state of Colorado. He and possibly Kortne Ford will be the players Pablo Mastroeni builds his defense around in the next few years.
There is one final aspect of this that does have value. At 6’7″, Sjoberg could start to attract some outside interest. I’m a little shocked that there wasn’t at least one rumor about him over the past year. Other clubs in MLS have bigger budgets than the Rapids and centerback always seems to be a position of need in the league.
Sjoberg is also from Sweden, where the first division is on par with MLS in many ways. He could very well garner interest from other MLS clubs, Scandanavia, or some lower tier European leagues. This could become very enticing should the Swedish National Team come calling. If the Rapids eventually sell Sjoberg, this new (and presumably more expensive) contract, the Rapids will be able to get a larger transfer fee.
From all angles, this is a great move for the player and the club.
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids – July 27, 2017 – Rapids sign defender Axel Sjöberg to a three-year contract extension, with a club option for 2021.
Full Name: Axel Sjöberg
Birth Date: March 8, 1991
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden