The Colorado Rapids announced Tuesday that Johan Blomberg was the first offseason signing for the club. The attacking midfielder, from AIK Fotboll of the Swedish top flight, caught the eye of the front office, who believes Blomberg will add an extra creative dimension on the pitch in 2018. Here are three things to know about the newest member of the club.
1. ‘Severige’ Born and Raised
Prior to signing with the Rapids, the Lund native and natural playmaker spent his entire professional career in Sweden with Ängelholms FF, Halmstads BK, and most recently AIK Fotboll. This past season, the 30-year-old made 28 league appearances for AIK in Sweden’s top flight - the Allsvenskan, also known as Fotbollsallsvenskan (The Football All-Swedish). AIK has 11 Swedish championships and five Allsvenskan championships. During Blomberg's three-year stint with the Swedish side, he made 108 appearances in all competitions, while scoring 10 times and adding 22 assists.
Blomberg is the Rapids’ fourth Swedish-born player in club history. The first was former Arsenal and Everton midfielder Anders Limpar (1999-2000), who also played with AIK Fotboll before arriving in Colorado. Other notable alumni of AIK include Costa Rica national player Celso Borges, Sweden national team player Olof Mellberg (2000-2012) and former San Jose Earthquakes (2010-2012, 2014-2015) and Real Salt Lake (2013) player Khari Stephenson.
2. On Target
The 5’10” midfielder notched his first professional goal on June 19, 2010 in the 32nd minute of Ängelholm FF’s 4-2 win over IFK Trollhattan. Since then, Blomberg has been an attacking force, scoring a total of 28 goals and delivering 39 assists in 262 appearances in all competition.
He also holds the record for the fastest goal in AIK history. On April 23, 2017, Blomberg broke a 41-year-old record as he converted a pass within 16 seconds of the opening whistle. Blomberg's last appearance for AIK came in a 2-1 home win over IFK Göteborg - the second most successful club in Sweden - on October 30. He tallied an assist on the winning goal.
3. Scouting Himself
“My biggest strength is the attacking game," Blomberg said on Tuesday. "I would say I am more creative, but I like defending and winning the ball." Blomberg also noted that his key strengths are crossing, passing and contributing to defensive duties. He also likes to connect short passes and layoffs in the buildup.
“I chose the Colorado Rapids because I believe in the team’s vision for the future, the way they want to play the game, and because the move offers new challenges both on and off the pitch. My family and I are very excited and we can’t wait to move to Denver and officially begin this new chapter of our lives.”