Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
College: Marquette University
Birth date: March 8, 1991
Acquired: Selected January 15, 2015 as the 14th pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
- Named in the MLS Team of the Week for his performance in the 1-0 home win over New England Revolution (3/4) on the opening weekend.
- Was in the 18 for the 3-0 defeat at Chicago Fire (5/17).
- Returned to action for the 2-1 loss at Philadelphia Union (5/20).
- Suffered an injury in training and missed the win over Sporting Kansas City (5/27).
- Returned for back-to-back games against Portland Timbers (6/17) and LA Galaxy (6/21), but then suffered a hamstring injury in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup defeat at FC Dallas (6/27) and sat out the next three games.
- Netted in the 2-2 tie with Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8/5). This was his first goal of the season, his first since scoring a late leveler at Vancouver on July 9, 2016, and his first goal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- After a frustrating, and injury-riddled first half of the season, during which he managed five appearances (all starts) in the first 18 games, Sjöberg then missed just two of the remaining 16.
- Sent off for the second time in his MLS career after 62 minutes of the final game of the season, a 3-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC (10/22), when adjudged to have denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity with a foul on Will Bruin.
- Sjöberg enjoyed a breakout season, in which he was mentioned as a possible All-Star, playing the most games of any of the defenders, in a back line which was the meanest in all of MLS.
- He again started every game he played, doubling in all key areas from his rookie season (starts, appearances and minutes).
- The second season in MLS also brought Sjöberg is first goals, and both were crucial. The first was at Seattle Sounders FC on May 21, as the Rapids claimed all three points with a 1-0 win. The second was a game-tying goal deep into stoppage time at the end of a 2-2 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7/9).
- Named to the MLS Team of the Week on two occasions (Weeks 12 and 19).
- He missed just three games. Two were due to hamstring tightness (4/13 & 4/16), and the other was to rest him in a busy end to the regular season (10/16).
- Rapids' Defender of the Year for 2016.
- Nominee for MLS Defender of the Year.
- The Swedish central defender was the only Rapids rookie to play more than 1,000 MLS minutes in 2015 (it may have been more but for injury and suspension), and rarely looked out of place when he featured along the back line.
- At 6'7", he is an imposing figure, and showed no signs of nerves as he made his debut in the very first game of the season, at Philadelphia Union (3/7). Alongside Bobby Burling (6'6"), he formed part of the tallest central defensive pairing in MLS history.
- A week later, Sjöberg made his home debut as the Rapids tackled leage newcomers New York City FC, which meant the first-year pro would be up against World Cup winner David Villa. It was one of many battles he appeared to relish during his 14 appearances; he also went toe-to-toe with Dom Dwyer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Kei Kamara and Didier Drogba.
- Sjöberg's tussle with Kamara (8/8) ended prematurely though when the former Marquette student was sent off for two bookable offences, an indication maybe that one of the biggest players in the league was prepared to mix it with some of the biggest names in the league.
- Played four years at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was named to the All-Big East first team and was the winner of Marquette’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2014. Three times in 2014 he was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week.
- A preseason All-America pick by numerous soccer publications, he ranked as high as No. 22 on the TopDrawerSoccer.com "Men's National Top 100" list and was recognized as one of the "10 best defenders in college" soccer by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
- In 2013, he was named Marquette’s Most Valuable Player and was a first team All-Big East pick. He also was named to the second team All-America squad and first team all-Big East by College Sports Madness. Sjӧberg was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Big East men’s soccer championship and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
- He was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com men’s national top 100 list and No. 5 on the website’s Big East Conference Top 20 list. He also earned Capital One Academic All-District 6 honors and placed on the Academic All-America ballot.
- During the summer, he played for the Thunder Bay Chill in the USL’s Premier Development League (PDL) and was named Best Defender for the second straight season as the Chill won the PDL regular season title and advance to the league’s championship final.
- Born in Stockholm, the son of Lars-Erik Sjӧberg and Anna Kullander Sjӧberg, he has been an outstanding student at Marquette, majoring in Finance. He was selected to be a part of Marquette's highly regarded Applied Investment Management (AIM) Program and was awarded the finance department’s Outstanding Senior Award from the College of Business Administration.
- A member of Chi Alpha Sigma (National College Athlete Honor Society) and the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society (College of Business), Axel was named to the Dean's List each semester at Marquette. He was also active in the Milwaukee community by founding a clothing drive initiative called Student Athletes Give.
- He also participated in the NCAA's Leadership Development Workshop in 2011 and 2012, Marquette's annual Hunger Clean Up and the Feed My Starving Children event organized by the university’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Fluent in English and Swedish, he also speaks German.
- Received his Green Card in 2017, and so he no longer occupies an international spot on the roster.