The Sounders have signed former Arsenal footballer Freddie Ljungberg (it’s pronounced LOON-berg) as their designated player*. As an Arsenal supporter and a Sounders fan, this makes me really excited. Freddie was a big part of Arsenal’s “Invicible” season in 2003-04, when they did not lose a single match, and while he’s gotten older and a little more susceptible to injuries, he should still have plenty of good skills to bring to the team, especially in the MLS. Most folks who follow soccer believe that MLS does not have the quality of more established leagues like the English Premiereship or the Italian Serie A. While Freddie may not be a superstar in one of those leagues, he should be able to tear up the MLS, much like how David Beckham has found success in America, even while his career is coming towards its end. Also, like Beckham, Freddie is a midfielder, so he’ll be responsible for setting up scoring chances for the strikers. Perhaps he’ll take a few himself!
As his last name implies, Freddie is from a Scandinavian country, specifically, Sweden, and he has played in 75 matches for his international team. While Sweden is not the footballing powerhouse that Italy or Germany are, they are always competitive in European play. Having one of Sweden’s main players on our side is a great deal for the Sounders, and I fully expect Freddie to help Seattle make waves in MLS play next season.
Welcome to Seattle, Freddie! We are glad to have you! And remember, if you ever want a taste of back home, you can always stop by Ballard. Let’s Go Sounders!
*The Designated Player is a player whose salary does not count against the team salary cap. Every MLS club gets one DP. Other Designated Players in MLS include David Beckham for LA Galaxy and Cuauhtemoc Blanco for Chicago Fire.