The last of the Scandinavians
January 2, 2014

In 2010, the Scandinavian invasion started. First GM Erik Soler and head coach "Clever" Hans Backe. Then, assistant coaches Goran Aral and Jan Halvor Halvorsen. Then, players: Joel Lindpere, Brian Nielsen, Jan Gunnar Solli, Teemu Tainio, Victor Palsson... And then, one of the last to arrive, S. Markus Holgersson.

When he first stepped on the field in 2012, he looked overmatched. The game seemed too fast for him. Costly mistakes led to leaky goals. And most fans wanted him on the next plane back to Sweden.

As days went on, Holgersson adapted. His ability to read the game gave him an upper hand when dealing with MLS forwards. Even the goals came, as he became a threat on set pieces. When he was given the captain's armband in the absence of Thierry Henry, some winced, but most accepted. You could do worse with a vice captain than S. Markus Holgersson.

And then, Backe, the grizzled fellow Swede, was sent back over the ocean. Many assumed Holgersson would follow. He stayed on, lost his starting job in the preseason, and seemed a tad disgruntled. Yet, two games in, the job was back his, and stayed that way through the rest of the year. By the end of the season, Holgersson became the team's most dependable defender. On limited occasions, the armband returned as well.

And now, like the ones that came before him, Holgersson is gone. So long, S. Markus. You were a worthy vice captain. You were the last of the Scandinavians.

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