“Axel is a physically imposing center back who was known for his consistency and steadiness during his time in Colorado," United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a written statement, “and we’re looking forward to adding that experience and ability to our roster.”
Because of pandemic guidelines, Sjöberg is not able to train with his new teammates right away and won’t be available for next Friday’s match at FC Cincinnati. He might be in uniform Aug. 25 against the New England Revolution at Audi Field or Aug. 29 at Philadelphia.
Boateng, acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy last summer, appeared in three league matches for United in 2019 and none this year. An injury prevented him from playing in the MLS is Back Tournament at Disney World.
With the emergence of 17-year-old homegrown attacker Kevin Paredes in Florida, Boateng, 26, became expendable.
Sjöberg, a native of Sweden, played five seasons for the Colorado Rapids, achieving MLS Best XI honors in 2016, before being waived last winter. He signed with the Crew and was loaned to second-division San Antonio FC, where he made one appearance. Returning to Columbus, he was in uniform but did not play at the MLS tournament.
The 29-year-old Sjöberg has appeared in 88 MLS regular season matches (84 starts) and scored three goals. He played college soccer at Marquette and was chosen 14th overall by Colorado in the 2015 draft.
In Washington, he will join a corps of center backs that includes longtime starters Steven Birnbaum and Frédéric Brillant and second-year pro Donovan Pines.
After failing to advance out of the tournament’s group stage, United (1-2-2) is preparing for 18 regular season matches in home markets through early November. In the first phase, D.C. will play six matches in 23 days.
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