Houston Dynamo FC used Targeted Allocation Money to sign veteran center back Erik Sviatchenko from FC Midtjylland in Denmark, both clubs announced today. The Danish international signed with the Dynamo through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025. The transaction is pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“We entered this offseason looking to add more players with a winning pedigree and Erik has won at every stop in his career. He adds valuable experience to the spine of our team and provides another veteran presence in our locker room,” Dynamo general manager, Pat Onstad said. “He was excited by the vision of the club and the opportunity to contribute to our project. We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to Houston.”
Sviatchenko is the second most capped player in the history of FC Midtjylland with 325 appearances across all competitions. He won five titles with the Danish side and most recently lifted the 2021/2022 Danish Cup and Danish Superliga. He was named Danish Superliga Player of the Year in the 2019/20 season. The defender also tallied 32 goals and added 11 assists during 12 seasons with the Wolves.
The defender has served as a leader of his boyhood club FC Midtjylland since the 2013/2014 season when he was named vice-captain of the first team as a 21-year-old. He most recently served as the team's captain in league play and on the international stage during group play of the 2022/2023 UEFA Europa League.
The 31-year-old also enjoyed a successful period at Celtic Football Club from 2016-2018. He finished with 63 appearances for Celtic in all competitions and won six titles with the Hoops. He was a regular starter and vice-captain during the club’s historic 2016/2017 ‘Invincibles’ season where Celtic went undefeated in 47 games to win the domestic treble, including the Scottish League Cup, Scottish Cup and Scottish Premiership titles.
He finished with six appearances during group play of the 2016/2017 edition of the UEFA Champions League for the Scottish club. He made his debut in the tournament for Celtic in the match against FC Barcelona on Sept. 13 and earned starts against Manchester City and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The defender represented both clubs in three international tournaments and earned a combined 59 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League.
Sviatchenko has earned five caps for the Denmark National Team and made his debut in a 3-2 victory over the U.S. Men’s National Team on March 25, 2015. The Viborg, Denmark native also represented his country at the U-18 through U-21 youth levels.
The defender is the 14th player added to the Dynamo roster for the 2023 season. He also continues the club’s offseason strategy of recruiting players and staff with a history of winning, as he is the eighth player to join the club this offseason who has won a senior professional or collegiate championship.