FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The regular season is well underway but the overhaul of the New England Revolution continued on Wednesday morning as Swedish forward Bjorn Runstrom became the club’s 14th addition since Jay Heaps was named head coach in mid-November.
Runstrom trained with the Revs for a portion of their stay in Tucson, Ariz., this preseason and was on the club’s roster for the Desert Diamond Cup, scoring the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Feb. 29. The 28-year-old striker impressed with his range of abilities and Heaps is looking forward to adding another piece to his attacking puzzle.
“He’s another guy that was with us in camp and it gives us another option up top,” said Heaps. “He can also play wide; very versatile attacking player for us.”
A product of the Hammarby IF youth system in his native Sweden, Runstrom has since plied his trade in various locales across Europe. Before eventually returning to Hammarby for a second time, Runstrom had spells in Italy, England, Germany, Denmark and Norway.
Now Runstrom makes the leap across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time and Heaps is confident the club and the player are the right fit.
“He’s had a good career so far, but I think he’s looking for that next step,” said Heaps. “I spent a lot of time with him while we were in Arizona and I feel good about his intentions for being here. That was one huge component to getting him here was how he feels he can fit into our team.”
The Revs are hoping Runstrom arrives “as soon as possible” – he’s currently waiting on both his U.S. P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate – and when he does they believe he’ll represent another key addition to the Revolution’s evolving attack.
“We’re getting there,” said Heaps. “We’ve got guys who can play. You want to be dynamic in your attack and so we have a lot of different angles to come at you. We’ve got some strength, we’ve got some speed and now we have some versatility.”