Maria Karlsson, who played nine years in Damallsvenskan, is now headed to England to play for Doncaster Rovers Belles in the new FA Women’s Super League, which begins this spring. The 25-year old central midfielder/defender, who had 154 caps and scored 17 goals during her time in Damallsvenskan, becomes the first Swedish international to sign for a team in England’s new semi-professional league.
“I’m really looking forward and feel excited to play for Doncaster and to be the first Swedish player in WSL,” Karlsson said. “I had a really good treatment when I visited the club, and it’s going to be nice to meet the girls. I’m very grateful that I’ve got this opportunity, and I’ll do my absolute best to help my team to be successful this year.”
In Sweden, Karlsson played for Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC from 2002-2008 and then for Linköping FC from 2009-2010. Karlsson won the league and the cup with Linköping in 2009, and she has played in the Champions League (2009 and 2010) where she has nine caps and five goals. She also had 57 caps with the Swedish youth national teams.
In addition to Karlsson, Doncaster has signed a number of players so far this offseason, including Canadian international Kylla Sjoman, who played her college soccer at Arizona State University, English youth national defender Amy Turner, who played stateside for Hofstra University, Irish international Aine O’Gorman, former Nottingham Forest and England U-20 defender Lyndsey Cunningham, and former Buffalo Flash forward Katie Holtham.