Minnesota United announced today that it has acquired Swedish international goalkeeper John Alvbåge on loan from IFK Goteborg, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC. Alvbåge has had an impressive career playing in the top leagues of Sweden and Denmark. The loan is through July 15 with an option to extend the loan after that date.
“We are delighted to get John [Alvbåge] here in Minnesota, he has a wealth of experience around the world. He is a hard worker, he has great character and he is a loyal guy who will fit in well in Minnesota,” goalkeeper coach Marius Røvde said. “A goalkeeper is like an extra coach on the field and when you get someone with the experience of Alvbåge, it’s a great moment for the club.”
A native of Gothenburg, Alvbåge brings 18 years of experience to the Loons. The veteran has been a top goalkeeper in the Allsvenkan - the top Swedish league - winning the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year award as recently as 2015. In his recent five-year stint with Goteborg, Alvbåge has racked up an impressive 53 clean sheets and helped the club to four-straight appearances in European competition.
“I have big expectations, this is a great opportunity for myself and everyone at this club, it’s new for all of us and that’s really exciting,” said Alvbåge. “There is great team spirit and chemistry already building with this club and I’m delighted to be a part of it. I’m pumped, I am excited about what we can create in Minnesota.”
He began his professional career in Sweden in 1999 with local club Torslanda IK, but was transferred to Vasta Forlunda IF the following year where he would make his Allsvenskan debut at just 18-years-old. After the club was relegated in 2000 Alvbåge stepped into the starting role and led the club to the brink of promotion just two seasons later.
He impressed top-flight club Orebro SK, who signed him for the following two seasons. Strong play by Alvbåge led to a pair of mid-table finishes, but due to financial trouble, the club was relegated to the second division, and the young goalkeeper was signed by Goteborg.
The stay with his hometown club was short as he soon joined Viborg FF in Denmark. In his first season at Viborg he led the club to a fourth place finish, just missing out on European competition. He spent another season and a half with the Danish club before returning to a revitalized Orebro side. He guided the club to become a top-half team and even earned a spot in Europa League qualifying with a third place finish in 2010.
His play in Denmark caught the attention of the Swedish men’s national team, and from 2006 through 2009, he made a handful of appearances at the international level and was on the 2006 World Cup roster.
In 2012, Alvbåge returned to his hometown and to Goteborg where he came into his own as a top-level goalkeeper. Under his leadership, Goteborg won the Svenska Cupen twice in three seasons. His lightning-quick reflexes and fearless, attacking style made him one of the most exciting and formidable goalkeepers in the league.
Come see Alvbåge and the rest of the Loons’ newest signings at Minnesota United’s home opener March 12, against Atlanta United FC. You can purchase a ticket to this first ever MLS match as part of the MNUFC pom hat + ticket deal here. Season tickets and your place in the Itasca Society are available now at MNUFC.COM and single match tickets are available Feb. 9.
TRANSACTION: Minnesota United acquires goalkeeper John Alvbåge on loan from Swedish club IFK Goteborg through July 15 with an option to extend the loan after that date. Alvbåge will be added to Minnesota’s roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
Last Club: IFK Goteborg
Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden
Birthplace: Gothenburg, Sweden