The questions about Freddie Ljungberg’s stay at Seattle Sounders FC have been answered. At approximately 5:30 p.m. (CT) on Friday, July 30, 2010, Major League Soccer announced the first Designated Player trade in league history that sends the former Premier League standout to the Windy City.
Freddie Ljungberg will join fellow Designated Player Nery Castillo and MLS All-Star Marco Pappa in the midfield. Additionally, Ljungberg is eligible to play as soon as Saturday, July 31, 2010 for the Fire vs. the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The game is also expected to be Nery Castillo’s MLS debut.
Ljungberg heads east to Chicago, and in exchange the Seattle Sounders will receive a conditional draft pick in the 2011 or 2012 SuperDraft. The conditions for the pick were not disclosed.
Ljungerg joined Seattle Sounders FC as the club’s first Designated Player in October 2008. During his career in Seattle, the former Sweden National Team Captain earned 39 appearances, two goals, and 11 assists in Major League Soccer play (including MLS Cup playoffs).
Ljungberg last played for the Seattle Sounders FC on July 4, with an injury cited by both player and club sidelining him since then. Reports appeared shortly thereafter about his possible departure from Seattle, but not many believed he would stay in MLS and many speculated retirement.
The Fire and Sounders have yet to play each other in the MLS regular season. The two matches are scheduled on Aug. 28 at Qwest Field and on Sept. 25 at Toyota Park.