Costa Rica youth int’l, SCL star Smith joins Sweden’s Norrkoping

NORRKOPING, Sweden – Swedish top-flight side Norrkoping introduced Costa Rica youth international Ian Smith as its newest acquisition at a press conference Friday.

The 19-year-old defender, who signed a three-year-deal, played a key role in Santos de Gupailes’ 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League campaign, helping the Costa Rican side to a runner-up finish.  He appeared in six games and assisted on Kenny Cunningham’s 86th-minute goal in a 1-0 win over visiting Arabe Unido in the semifinal, second leg.

“I feel very good,” said Smith.  “All the guys and the coach treat me very good.  Now I’m very excited to start the practice and the games.  Of course, I want to grow as a player.  I think this is a great team that makes the players better, so I want that.”

At the club level, in addition to competing for Santos, Smith spent part of 2016 on loan at Hammarby, another Swedish club.

For Costa Rica, Smith has played in the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship (2015: 6 games/1 goal in 4-1 win v Haiti), CONCACAF Under-20 Championship (2017: 4/0), FIFA U-17 World Cup (2015: 4/0), and the FIFA U-20 World Cup (2017: 4/0).