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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis CITY SC signed Swedish defender Joakim Nilsson.

The 28-year-old will join the club in July, and he is signed through 2026.

“Nilsson is the kind of defender any team would want, as he is a natural leader and possesses all the attributes to be successful in any league. He is assertive in 1v1 duels, good in the air and great at building out from the back. We are confident that all his experience and physical attributes will make him one of the best defenders in Major League Soccer,” Lutz Pfannenstiel, St. Louis CITY Sporting Director, said.

Most recently, he played for Arminia Bielefeld in Germany’s Bundesliga.

He represented Sweden at various competition levels. He has appeared over 29 times for his country.

“After my first meeting with Lutz and Bradley, I was convinced that St. Louis CITY SC was the right destination to further my career,” said Nilsson. “I was impressed by their plan and vision for the long-term future of the club and how they see me as an important part of the team’s exciting sporting project. I want to say a huge thank you to Arminia Bielefeld for giving me the opportunity to play in the Bundesliga, which has been one of my biggest dreams since I was a child, and to the fans for welcoming my family and I with open arms. We can’t wait to call St. Louis our home and get to see the passionate soccer fans there.” 

Nilsson will start playing with St Louis CITY2, the club’s MLS NEXT Pro team, before making his debut on STL CITY’s first team in 2023.

He was born in Härnösand, Sweden and started his youth career with local club Älgarna-Härnösand IF. He then went through the academy at GIF Sundsvall. He first turned pro with them. He signed in 2016 with IF Elfsborg in Sweden’s top division. He played with them for three years and amassed over 92 appearances.

He then went to 2. Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld for a three-year contract in 2019. He helped his team win and get promoted to the Bundesliga in 2020.