Major League Soccer

St. Louis CITY signs Joakim Nilsson ahead of debut 2023 MLS season

Lizzy Becherano
Nilsson is set to move to MLS
Nilsson is set to move to MLS / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Major League Soccer expansion team St. Louis CITY SC continues to build their roster ahead of their debut in 2023 with the signing of Arminia Bielefeld player Joakim Nilsson.

The defender joins through the 2026 season, and will play for STL's MLS NEXT Pro team, ST Louis CITY2, ahead of their inaugural MLS campaign.

He stands as the team’s fourth signing from the German Bundesliga. 

“We have managed to get another top player with tremendous quality and experience on our roster,” said Pfannenstiel in a release.

“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.”

Nilsson departs Arminia Bielefeld after three seasons, where he managed four goals in 89 overall appearances. Internationally, the player has ten caps with Sweden, and is set to feature in their upcoming Nations League matches in June. 

“After my first meeting with Lutz and Bradley [Carnell], I was convinced that St. Louis CITY SC was the right destination to further my career,” said Nilsson in a release. 

“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.”

The defender joins forward João Klauss, left-back Selmir Pidro, midfielder Tomáš Ostrák and goalkeeper Roman Bürki on the team’s inaugural roster.