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 14, 2008

Ljungberg: Are You Interested?

Update: SoccerByIves.net has linked to us and added that they have a source who confirms club interest.

We were passed along a rumor recently that Sounders FC are looking into bringing Swedish National Team Player, former Arsenal great and male model Freddie Ljungberg to Seattle as a possible designated player.

Are you interested? Should Sounders FC be?

Ljungberg was paid a hefty £6 million by West Ham to 'go away' this August. The club did it as a money-saving move after it was clear to them that Freddie was not going to be in their future plans. Does this mean that Ljungberg is 'washed up?' Clubs such as Roma have remained interested, but so far he's not caught on with anyone despite being 'on a free' in which the club that signs him would not owe a transfer fee.

In his prime Freddie was adored by fans at Arsenal, and was named by the supporters there to the Gunners all-time starting eleven.

Freddie has been a sensation off of the pitch with his striking looks and penchant to share most of his physique with the world via underwear modeling.

If this sounds even remotely like another west coast designated player, you're on to one reason why Sounders FC might want Ljungberg. While not as popular around the world as David Bechkam, none the less Freddie has a similar rock star persona that would sell jerseys abroad and tickets on world tours.

Ljungberg was a winger with Arsenal, and Sounders FC might be covered in that area with Sanna Nyassi, Sebastien Le Toux and possibly Josh Gardner. Maybe move Ljungberg to the middle?

But can he still play, and is he healthy? We can't know the answer to those questions, but if he is healthy then I don't doubt that he could adjust to several different midfield roles in MLS.

Would Seattle get enough 'bang for its buck' with Freddie as the DP? Well, he's certainly marketable and has world recognition. His 'face' seems to translate well across cultural lines. Then we get back to the 'on a free' part. It might be the most tempting reason to try Ljungberg. He'd just require a salary, likely enhanced with endorsement deals. Sounders FC could sign him walking in the front door and owe nothing to another club.

While we've said in the past that an attacking creative midfielder in the vein of Argentine Guillermo Schelotto would be ideal, it is time to wonder if this Swede might just be offering enough of that to get Seattle to bite.

Ljungberg will turn 32 next April.

See what GoSounders.com has to say about Ljungberg.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My preference is for less glamour. Maybe a central or attacking midfielder, a role Ljundberg could fill. But I probably also prefer a DP from somewhere other than Europe, where we'll have to pay name-brand rates for second-hand goods.

    The argument I don't like is the ticket sales one.

    Seattle is not Los Angeles; we do not need to be tricked into watching soccer. Beckham is clearly good for the MLS, but Seattle doesn't need a pop star to appeal to its teeny-bopper demographic. We're already selling tickets (or at least season ticket deposits).

  3. He'd sell some tickets in Ballard.

  4. Here's my take:

    Le Toux's effectiveness in the box is going to be limited by the size, strength and speed of the defenders in the MLS. Naturally, he will spend more time outside the box looking to create and probably get taken down more often while he's holding the ball. (Le Toux is great while dribbling with the ball, but he's no target man.) He needs to be partnered with a true center forward. Some nasty beast who can flick on and create enough space to get his shot off.

  5. My take on this as a Swede:

    Freddie is a great player, no doubt. He has the skills and he has the fighting spirit... when he wants.

    He didnt have the fighting spirit his last year in arsenal and he clearly did not have it during his year in West Ham.

    Freddies career is glorious in many ways. He had a sensational career in the mediocre swedish league before making himself a name in both the swedish national team and Arsenal. He had a big part in Arsenals latest "golden era", no doubt. But his career in soccer has been troubled by both injuries and a lack of motivation.

    Maybe it is his many injuries that has kept his image of "fighting-freddie" down the last couple of years, i do not know, and i sure as heck do not know if a move to the Sounders will make him motivated again.

    What i do know is that, motivation or not, he will give you some nice goals to talk about and if he is truly motivated he will give you a much more than just that.

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