Axel Sjoberg still has a year of eligibility remaining at Marquette, but it appears likely the towering center back has played his final match for the Golden Eagles.
On Wednesday, Sjoberg was among nine players added to the list of invitees for the Major League Soccer Combine, which is Jan. 8 to 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Sjoberg, a 23-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, has 11 goals and nine assists in 63 appearances (all starts) during his college career and was named the Golden Eagles' Team MVP each of the past two seasons. In 2014, he had three assists as he was an All-Big East Conference first-team selection for the second consecutive year, and also played every minute for Marquette for the second straight season.
After Wednesday's announcement, Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives tweeted that Sjoberg will be one of the top center backs available in the MLS SuperDraft, which starts Jan. 15. TopDrawerSoccer.com, meanwhile, has him being selected by the Houston Dynamo with the No. 36 selection in the SuperDraft in its initial mock draft last week.
"Hulking center backs have a history of success in Houston, and Sjoberg fits that billing, standing at 6-foot-7. He'll need to show the ability to keep up with the speed of the game at the next level if he's to succeed in MLS, and give Houston another central defensive option in this draft," TopDrawerSoccer.com wrote.
Sjoberg graduated from Marquette last month with a degree in finance – he had a 3.86 grade-point average and was named to the third team of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's University Division Scholar All-American team.
While Sjoberg played in four seasons for the Golden Eagles, he was granted a medical redshirt in 2011 after suffering a broken foot after just three games and was listed as a redshirt junior on the team's 2014 roster. He could enroll in graduate school at Marquette and play another season with the Golden Eagles; however, a school news release last month noted that Sjoberg "finished his MU career in 2014."
Sjoberg joins Laurie Bell (UW-Milwaukee) in being invited to the MLS Combine – the midfielder from England was among the 55 players who have completed their college eligibility on the initial list of invitees.