WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 — D.C. United fortified its midfield with the signing of Finnish international and Malmo FF midfielder Markus Halsti on Monday.
Halsti, 30, spent the last seven seasons with top Swedish team Malmo FF in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top league, appearing in 115 games and scoring six goals.
He helped the club win three league championships (2010, 2013-1014) in the last five seasons, and was named to the Swedish’s league’s Team of the Year 2014. Halsti has vast experience playing in the UEFA Champions League and started in all of Malmo’s games in the UCL group stage last year. The 6-foot-1 Finnish international has appeared in a total of 20 Champion’s League games during his club career.
United became familiar with Halsti after United played Malmo twice in friendly games in the last three years.
“We are pleased to be adding a player with solid European playing experience at the club, Champions League, and national team levels,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper.
Halsti will likely play in a central midfielder role in the United setup but he can also play on the backline.
Halsti, who began his professional career in 2003 with Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK) in Finland’s top league, has played for his country at the top level 20 times.
United enters its 20th season in Major League Soccer when it takes on the Montreal Impact at RFK Stadium on Saturday March 7 at 3 p.m.