For personal reasons, the Austin transfer Ruben Gabrielsen back to the Norwegian club.

Austin (KXAN) — Austin continued the off-season with two transfers this week, one of which sent a top defenseman back to his former club.

At his request, centre-back Ruben Gabrielsen was transferred to Lilleström in Norway after an amazing year in defense of Austin. Gabrielsen, who was born in Norway, played for Lilleström from 2009 to 2014 after joining the team when he was 17 years old.

“While it is hard for me to say goodbye to Austin Football Club as a parent of a child in need of special care, returning to Lilleström and Norway is the best thing for me and my family at the moment,” Gabrielsen said. “I will always have fantastic memories and friendships from my year in Austin and I want to thank the fans for their incredible support throughout the season. It’s a great community and a great club with a great future.”

Gabrielsen helped lead Austin to one of the best results in Major League Soccer history, playing in 33 games and all three Verde MLS Cup playoff games. He scored twice, had two assists and was named to the league team of the week three times.

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“We want to thank Reuben for his tremendous contribution to the development of Austin Football Club,” said head coach Josh Wolf. “After a great 2022 season, Ruben has indicated that due to personal circumstances it is in the best interest of his family to return to Norway. He is a top notch professional and we wish him the best of luck in the next phase of his career and he will always be welcomed with open arms in Austin.”

Verde sent midfielder and former designee Thomas Pochettino to Brazil’s Fortaleza Esporte Clube. Pochettino was on loan from River Plate in Argentina last season after playing in 31 games for Austin in 2021. He came to Austin with high hopes after his goalscoring history, but he only scored twice and had two assists for Verde.

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