Yanks in Sweden - season sum-up

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by Dandal, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Dandal

    Dandal Member

    Jul 20, 2002
    Since the swedish season ended this weekend, I thought could be appropriate to try to sum it up.

    As far as I know, there has been 6 americans playing in Sweden this season. Strangely enough they seem to come only in pairs ;)

    Bodens BK - Leighton O'Brien and Luchi Gonzales
    Bodens BK was just promoted to the 1st divison (second level in the swedish league system). The team plays fairly attractive, 4-3-3 based, attacking football and finished 11 in the 16 team division. The americans both played a major role in what must be described as a successfull run. Leighton O'Brien played 23 matches (starting in all), made 6 goals and 9 assists while Luchi Gonzales played 29 (starting in 23), made 6 goals and 3 assists. O'Brien was named player of the year and seems to have all but finalized negotiating a deal for the next season. Such a deal will most probably include some kind of clause that will permit him to leave for a premier division team. Luchi Gonzales also seems confident that he'll return to the club, though I haven't seen any confirmation from the club.

    Höllvikens GIF - Nate Winkel and Jeremiah Bass
    Höllvikens GIF plays in one of Sweden's 6 different regional 2nd divisions. Very few teams at this level has a professional attitude or ambition and Höllviken is not one of those, mostly a mix of young talents and semi-retired professionals. Nonetheless, this season was their best ever and they finished on third place. The two american midfielders, with A-league experience from Minnesota, made a noticeable contribution, Winkel with 4 goals and 3 assists and Bass with 1 goal and 2 assists. And the story I've heard about this, not the likeliest combination of players and club, is that Winkel and Bass backpacked their way through Europe last summer, asking for tryouts with teams they found and finally ended up in southern Sweden.

    Ludvika FK - Nate Kolano and Ben Bingham
    Ludvika FK is also a 2nd division team, but in a region further north. They just avoided relegation in the last match of the season and finished 7 in the 12 team division. 2003 was Kolano's second season, he came to Ludvika last year on recommendation from his college coach (Westmont college), and this year he brought Bingham. The two midfielders have both been steady starters and Kolano have both seasons been one of the teams most influental players, this year even scoring once.

    Some sort of conclusion: really good A-leaguers, AllStar-quality, can do good at least in 1st divison teams. Some swedish clubs knows that now, apart from the americans there are a couple of canadians playing in swedish premier and 1st division clubs. They will certainly come looking for more during the winter. And if you're not good enough to attract the attention of the scouts but still would like to play in Europe, have a go at some swedish 2nd division team!
  2. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Thanks for this. Will be interesting to watch the movement this off-season...
  3. harttbeat

    harttbeat Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    New York
    Can I get the age of these players? Can any of them participate in the Olympics (not the overage players)?
  4. ChrisE

    ChrisE Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    None of these players will be competing in the Olympics. I promise you.

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