The Ljungberg File and Why it will Work

The Ljungberg File and Why it will Work

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 28, 2008
  • 8 Comments
  • Designated Player, Expansion Draft, Freddie Ljungberg, Kasey Keller, Nate Jaqua, Sebastien Le Toux

I’m pretty excited about this move, more than I honestly expected to be. While on the surface I don’t agree with a 32-year old designated player like Freddie Ljungberg, I dig a little deep and begin to think that this could very well be a smart move by Seattle.

Ljungberg is a winner, both internationally with Sweden and with Arsenal in the EPL.

Between his first appearance for his country in 1998 (oddly enough against the US) and his international retirement following Euro 2008, Ljungberg played in two World Cups (2002, 2006) and three Euros. He had served as national team captain since 2006 and, altogether, scored 14 goals.

Ljungberg is a two-time Swedish footballer of the year (2002 and 2006). His career began at age 16, signing with local club BK Halmstad with his first senior debut at 17-year-old. After winning a first division and domestic cup title in Sweden, he was scouted by Arsenal and spotted by Arsène Wenger. His rights were purchased by Arsenal in 1998 after an impressive display for Sweden in a World Cup qualifier versus England.

His attacking style from the midfield should fit the style of play in MLS. Plus with players already on board like French forward Sebastien Le Toux and Gambian midfielder Sanna Nyassi (not to mention keeper Kasey Keller), Seattle is slowly turning itself into a winner here in my opinion. Also they are said to get forward Nate Jaqua next year from Houston, so they have the chance to be decent on offense in a conference that is a bit overrated in terms of putting goals in the back of the net.

I don’t think it’s just the Ljungberg signing that is making me think Seattle has the chance of being good because a lot can change between now and March for this club. But the fact that they are already making moves and are laying a solid foundation. I still look for them to go fairly defensive in the Expansion draft next month after signing the offense that they are getting. I’m not saying they will make the playoffs but they do have a shot to make things very interesting.

Seattle is making a splash. With 17,000 season ticket holders they could very well out-do Toronto. What do you all think? Can Seattle really make a splash thanks to guys like Ljungberg or will they just be like every expansion team and struggle through a long and hard first year?

  • Ian

    It would be pretty bold to state that the Sounders are gonna have a big first season, and I wouldn't say that. It takes a while for a team to become a team. Although, it will help that the USL Sounders will play a big role in the beginning, especially considering their success both in USL and the Open Cup. That being said, I think the Sounders have a better chance than most expansion teams for next year. <br />
    <br />
    As far as Ljungberg making a splash, its pretty mixed up here in the northwest. Most forum posts I see say something along the lines of &quot;not the best idea, but we still like it,&quot; just because of the experience he brings (along with Kasey Keller)<br />
    <br />
    MLS is gonna stay up here in Seattle (as long as no Oklahoma bastards try and steal more of our sports teams.) Hopefully Portland can get their team, then we'll be set.

  • mitch

    well, seeing as how beckham was what, 32-33 when the galaxy signed him, i don't think this is any different…he still brings a ton of quality to this team, especially since mls is hurting for higher profile international players to make the jump…i can't remember where i read it, but didn't thierry henry and andriy shevchenko both mention something about finishing careers in major league soccer? i do think this is the start of something…mls can't compete with top european clubs, but this sure raises the profile of mls by quite a bit, in my opinion…not near as popular as beckham in the non-soccer world, but people who keep up with the sport i think will attend more mls games, and maybe we can keep good american talent here so casual watchers don't feel like they are watching people who are passed their primes…i think this is an excellent move.

  • LJ

    I heard that MLS and Seattle aqcuired 65% of Freddy Montero's rights.<br />
    <br />
    If so… YES, you need to start thinking about the Sounders for real. They could simply add Keller, Ljungberg, and Montero to their USL side and compete in the MLS.<br />
    <br />
    They obviously can't be unreal with the MLS restrictions, but it could be big

  • Ian

    It would be pretty bold to state that the Sounders are gonna have a big first season, and I wouldn’t say that. It takes a while for a team to become a team. Although, it will help that the USL Sounders will play a big role in the beginning, especially considering their success both in USL and the Open Cup. That being said, I think the Sounders have a better chance than most expansion teams for next year.

    As far as Ljungberg making a splash, its pretty mixed up here in the northwest. Most forum posts I see say something along the lines of “not the best idea, but we still like it,” just because of the experience he brings (along with Kasey Keller)

    MLS is gonna stay up here in Seattle (as long as no Oklahoma bastards try and steal more of our sports teams.) Hopefully Portland can get their team, then we’ll be set.

  • mitch

    well, seeing as how beckham was what, 32-33 when the galaxy signed him, i don’t think this is any different…he still brings a ton of quality to this team, especially since mls is hurting for higher profile international players to make the jump…i can’t remember where i read it, but didn’t thierry henry and andriy shevchenko both mention something about finishing careers in major league soccer? i do think this is the start of something…mls can’t compete with top european clubs, but this sure raises the profile of mls by quite a bit, in my opinion…not near as popular as beckham in the non-soccer world, but people who keep up with the sport i think will attend more mls games, and maybe we can keep good american talent here so casual watchers don’t feel like they are watching people who are passed their primes…i think this is an excellent move.

  • LJ

    I heard that MLS and Seattle aqcuired 65% of Freddy Montero’s rights.

    If so… YES, you need to start thinking about the Sounders for real. They could simply add Keller, Ljungberg, and Montero to their USL side and compete in the MLS.

    They obviously can’t be unreal with the MLS restrictions, but it could be big

  • brew

    Montero rumors were hot here in the Seattle area about a month or so ago. They died down, immediately (or so it seemed to me) to be replaced by the Ljunberg rumors and ultimate signing. I have heard the same MLS/ Sounders owning 65% of Montero's rights. If Seattle lands this kid, they will be quite strong offensively.

  • brew

    Montero rumors were hot here in the Seattle area about a month or so ago. They died down, immediately (or so it seemed to me) to be replaced by the Ljunberg rumors and ultimate signing. I have heard the same MLS/ Sounders owning 65% of Montero’s rights. If Seattle lands this kid, they will be quite strong offensively.