CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Georgia native Kevin Sawchak has signed a one-year contract with Finnish Ykkonen club FC KooTeePee, with an option for a second season.

The 24-year old midfielder had a trial with KooTeePee last year, but an injury sustained in training caused him to leave early. The team was unwilling to take a chance with him, and he ended up playing the 2012 season with EIF in the third tier of Finnish soccer.

After an impressive season that saw Sawchak among the team leaders in minutes played, KooTeePee came calling again.

"I was over here last year during preseason for a week, [and] I injured my knee on the first day. I tore my meniscus," Sawchak told YA. "When I came [back], I fit in really quickly."

"I was surprised actually at how fast things went when I got here. I was only here for maybe a week and a half and then we started talking about contracts and things like that. So I was lucky that things worked out, I didn't have to go test with other teams."

Last year FC KooTeePee finished seventh out of the 10-team Ykkonen, which is the second tier of Finnish soccer. While they were only 12 points out of second place, an astronomical 24 points kept them out of the first-place promotion playoff spot.

Finland's preseason is long, with the league opener not coming until April 29 against PK-35 Vantaa. In the meantime, the first competitive game of the calendar year is a Suomen Cup game against fourth division team PaPe on March 8th.