Forge FC announce new multi-year deal for Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson

Ahead of their opening match of the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup against Chivas Guadalajara, Forge FC announced the re-signing of a key member of their squad, 27-year-old Swedish defender/midfielder Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson, to a multi-year contract.

The Swede has been with the club since their inaugural season, and appeared in every minute of all five CPL Finals, winning four. He scored the Final-winning goal at the 2020 Island Games in a 2-0 victory over the Halifax Wanderers.

In total, Achinioti-Jönsson has appeared in 147 matches for Forge FC. That is tied with captain Kyle Bekker for not only the most in club history, but also the most matches any player has played for a CPL club since the league kicked off in 2019. The Swede played 77 minutes in the league’s inaugural match on April 27, 2019 against York United (then York9 FC) at Tim Hortons Field.

“Alex has solidified himself as one the top and most influential players in the CPL,” said Forge FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bobby Smyrniotis. “He embodies the core values that define our club and we are excited to continue building, achieving, and showcasing the true essence of Forge FC together.”

He became the league’s first ever international centurion, having played 100 matches for a CPL club, during the 2022 campaign. In all competitions for Forge, he has five goals and five assists.

This past season, the 27-year-old appeared in all but one match for the Hamilton club. Only Triston Henry and Manjrekar James played more minutes for Forge during 2023.

Achinioti-Jönsson spent his first three seasons with Forge as a midfielder, but a slew of injuries during the 2022 campaign forced the club to deploy him as a central defender. He took to the position almost instantly, winning the league’s inaugural Defender of the Year award for the 2022 season.

Achinioti-Jönsson against Cavalry in the league’s inaugural final (Photo: Canadian Premier League)

That positional flexibility allows Achinioti-Jönsson to be deployed in different roles, often during the course of the same match as he moves forward and backward with ease when it is beneficial to his club with and without possession.

His on-ball attributes are also critical to the way Forge are able to build out of the back. This past season, the Swede finished fourth in the league in successful passes, with 1,327 (completing 87.42 per cent of his passes) and demonstrated his outstanding range of passing with 115 successful long balls (eighth among outfielders).

With James moving to Costa Rican club Alajuelense earlier this off-season, the re-signing of Jönsson also provides key continuity at the back for Forge.

He will also bring key Concacaf experience, having played 13 matches in the Concacaf League competition, and going the full 90 in both of Forge’s 2022 Concacaf Champions League matches against Cruz Azul. Achinioti-Jönsson has a further ten matches of CPL playoff knockout round experience, as well as starting the 2020 Canadian Championship Final against Toronto FC, scoring in the penalty shootout in which Forge ultimately lost.

Achinioti-Jönsson and Forge now prepare for their next big challenge, hosting Chivas Guadalajara, on Feb. 7 at Tim Hortons Field. While winning that first-round tie against one of the most successful clubs in the region will be a massive undertaking for the Hamilton club, the odds become significantly better with the experienced Swede in the lineup.