AUSTIN, Texas — Austin FC announced Monday that the club has signed Norway defender Ruben Gabrielsen on a two-year deal with an option for the 2024 season. He will take up one of Austin FC's international slots on the roster.
Gabrielsen, 29, comes to an Austin FC squad in need of more talent and depth in the center back role. He comes to the Lone Star State after completing a four-month stint with Danish side FC Copenhagen, where he was on loan from Ligue 2 outfit Toulouse FC.
Gabrielsen's signing addresses the club's need to bolster its backline. He joins Austin's first-round pick, Kipp Keller, and returning players Julio Cascante and Jhohan Romaña in the center back role.
“Ruben is a natural leader and has all the physical attributes of a top-level center back in Major League Soccer,” Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said. “We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Austin. He’ll be a great addition to the team.
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to join Austin FC and play at Q2 Stadium,” Gabrielsen said. “It’s an ambitious club, in a great city, with the best support in Major League Soccer. I can’t wait to contribute.”
In 2009, Gabrielsen became Norwegian side Lillestrøm's youngest-ever player to debut in the Norwegian topflight at 17 years and 25 days, club officials said. He moved to Norwegian powerhouse Molde FK in 2014 and helped the team win both the Norwegian league and cup that season. Gabrielsen remained at Molde until the conclusion of the 2019 season, when he won the Norwegian league for a second time.
In his career for Molde, Gabrielsen made 171 appearances, including seven appearances in the UEFA Europa League, and recorded eight goals and eight assists.
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