Chicago’s Swedish Dilemma

Chicago’s Swedish Dilemma

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 15, 2010
  • 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Freddie Ljungberg

Will he stay or will he go? (Getty Images)

If you’re the Chicago Fire things are starting to get interesting this offseason. You have a couple choices to make that could impact a lot of what you do this winter. You either go young with your roster in rebuilding or take your chances and stick with the two Designated Player system that didn’t get you all that close to a playoff spot last season.

The Fire have to make a decision sooner or later about Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg. Signing him will cost them a first round draft pick in next month’s draft (or in the 2012 draft) but letting him go could mean the club is in a clear rebuilding mode.

Joshua Mayer of the Seattle Times breaks down how the deal was made between the Seattle Sounders and the Fire back when the first DP trade was made earlier this year.

A) If Chicago does not re-sign Ljungberg, then Seattle receives the 27th overall pick (the Fire’s second-round pick) in the 2011 draft.

B) If Chicago does re-sign Ljungberg before the SuperDraft, then Seattle receives the 9th overall pick (the Fire’s first-round pick) in the 2011 draft.

C) If Chicago does re-sign Ljungberg after the SuperDraft, then Seattle drafts under Scenario A in 2011. Also, Sounders FC will swap its second-round pick in 2012 for the Fire’s first-round pick in 2012.

A lot of Fire fans seem to agree today on Twitter when asked that moving on from Ljungberg is the better idea for the Fire. Stay young and improve the roster with the 9th pick in the draft. At worst in that situation the Fire only lose a mid-round draft pick.

In all honesty I’d hate to see Ljungberg leave MLS right now but for the Fire that may be the best move for them to make. While I see him as a better fit as a DP than Nery Castillo for them I do believe going younger and cheaper will go a longer way this season for the Fire than taking a chance with Ljungberg who may or may not enjoy spending another full season in MLS.

I see that 9th pick in the draft going defensive too for the Fire. They need help in the back and there are plenty of quality defenders slated to be in this draft like Zarek Valentine and Kodfi Sarokie from Akron, A.J. Soares from California and even someone like Jalil Anibana from UNC.