David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Freddie goes Emerald as fans cheer

Freddie was all smiles as he talked to fans. (Jenni Conner)

Fans of Seattle Sounders FC got to meet their new hero Freddie Ljungberg at Qwest Field a few hours after he was announced to the media as Seattle's new sports star.

Supporters crammed into the Wells Fargo Suite to cheer the Swede and share in the joy of having a club so young sign a player so well-known.

The Sounders Band played the club fight song and Emerald City Supporters sang "The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle" as the good times rolled.

Todd Leiweke, Joe Roth and Adrian Hanauer addressed the fans before Freddie took questions submitted by fans.

Roth brought several loud roars of laughter as the giddy moment moved him to poke fun at both the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes. "You don't have to know how to play soccer in LA," said Roth, "just look good." He later hinted under his breath that Seattle wouldn't be an expansion team 'like San Jose.' (No playoffs in their first year back for the Quakes.)

Freddy spoke with ease to the crowd, all smiles about his new adventure in the States. At one point he joked with Kasey Keller (who was behind the crowd on a balcony) about their days as rivals with Arsenal and Tottenham.

Freddie holds high his new ECS scarf. (Jenni Conner)

Fans were in great spirits and so were the Sounders representatives, who delighted in talking about their accomplishments so far and their 'new prize.'

I talked with friends on our way home, still amazed that a club so ignored for years was now past the 17,000 season ticket mark and bringing in world talent. A great day to be a Seattle supporter. We were all in agreement that Freddie is starting his 'new life in America' with the right attitude and were impressed with his intelligence, wit and sense of humor.

Some fans wore Swedish jerseys and talked about Freddie coming to Seattle. (Video)

Even more, Ljungberg seems a genuinely nice guy. He garnered big applause when he said he wanted to come to America 'while he was still young enough to be good,' rather than only after his legs were giving out, as some of his European colleagues had suggested he should.

Holding his Emerald City Supporters scarf high Freddie left the room as loud chants rang the halls. He stopped at the top of the stairs, turned around, and held the scarf high once more before thanking everyone for coming out to meet him.

Jenni's photos of the fan night

Fan Reports:
Shotgun Prose

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