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Sacramento Republic sign Finnish midfielder Petteri Pennanen

Experienced midfielder moves stateside for 2021.

Courtesy of Republic FC.

Sacramento Republic FC announced this week they have signed Finnish midfielder Petteri Pennanen ahead of the 2021 season.

The 30-year-old joins after a career spent mostly playing in his native Finland, with stops along the way in the Netherlands, Poland and Indonesia.

“Pete is a big-time player, and it was clear from our research and from our conversations with him that he epitomizes the indomitable mentality that our club is built upon,” said Republic FC general manager Todd Dunivant in a team statement. “We are confident that his experience and leadership will drive our team forward and raise the level both on and off the field.”

Pennanen has played for the most part at Finnish club KuPS, his hometown club, across four separate stints in his career. Notably, he was Midfielder of the Year in the Finnish top flight in both 2018 and 2019, and won the league title last year. In addition, he’s got one senior cap with Finland.

Sac Republic bill Pennanen as a versatile midfielder, who can play attacking mid, winger or in central midfield, and his scoring numbers season to season vary widely, which sort of indicates the different roles he’s played over time.

It’s an interesting signing for sure. I’m a bit surprised there’s much of a market for international players to come into the United States at the moment, and Pennanen’s career pattern suggests a quick jaunt abroad before returning home, but you never know, perhaps he’ll find a second home in Sacramento. We’ve seen European players looking for a new adventure to play pretty well at times in the USL Championship, and we’ll see what happens with Petteri.

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