The Seattle Reign are giving us a lot to be thankful for this week. Not only have the core starters on the team re-signed, but we'll see two new internationals in 2016: Danish forward Manon Melis and now Swedish midfielder Antonia Göransson.
With this latest signing, the Reign have solidified their international spots. Jess Fishlock obtained her green card last year, making Kim Little, Rachel Corsie, Manon Melis, and now Göransson the four Reign internationals.
Göransson, 25, is a speedy and versatile midfielder who can play well with both feet. She made her debut for the Sweden national team in 2010, and went on to play in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, and 2013 UEFA Women's Championship. She's amassed 40 caps for Sweden, scoring 17 goals. She also found the back of the net four times in the 2010 U-20 World Cup. Here's one of those goals, which gave Sweden a 1-1 draw against Brazil.
While she did not ultimately make the 2015 World Cup squad, Sweden coach Pia Sundhage tried Göransson as a left back during World Cup qualifier matches, and she performed well there. With the Reign having a solid midfield core, Laura Harvey is considering Göransson as a replacement for Stephanie Cox at left back.
"Antonia is someone that I have been watching for a long time and I think has huge potential to make an impact in this league" said Harvey. "She can play in a variety of positions including left back and midfield which are areas we need to strengthen for the coming season. Her versatility and technical ability are areas that I think will allow her to excel over here."
Göransson has jumped around teams and leagues quite a bit. In 2009, at the young age of 19, she began her career with Kristianstads DFF, scoring five goals in 19 matches and earning herself the Swedish Football Association's Rookie of the Year award. Since then, she's scored 25 goals in roughly 100 matches and has played for Kristianstads, SV Hamburg and Turbine Potsdam in the Frauen-Bundesliga, and most recently Vittsjö GIK in Sweden. Göransson credits her time in Germany with adding more fitness and physicality to her game.
If she can do things like this for the Reign, I suspect we'll have a lot of happy fans.