Seattle Sounders FC: Sigi Schmid Addresses Topic of Freddie Ljungberg

Bill HareCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2010

CARSON, CA - JULY 04:  Freddie Ljungberg #10 of the Seattle Sounders FC kicks the ball against the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 4, 2010 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

Speculation continues to abound concerning whether Freddie Ljungberg will be dealt away by the Seattle Sounders during the transfer period.

Coach Sigi Schmid following Tuesday’s practice session at the Sounders’ Tukwila training facility discussed Ljungberg’s status among other questions.

“Ljungberg is still (coping) with the injured ankle,” Schmid said, adding, “but also, at this point, he is exploring options. So we’ll see how things proceed in the next three, four, five days.

“Freddie is a great player and he brings energy onto the field. Every time he plays on the field he plays with energy. For us as a team, you have to judge how we play with him or without him. I know I have my feelings and my judgments on that thing. But at the end of the day, our backs are against the wall and I think the guys know that.

“That helps you find some spirit and desire and sometimes when you hit a good streak somebody is not on the team. For example, [Brad] Evans is not on the team right now. We are hitting a good streak. Does that mean if he was on the field we would be better or would we be worse? It’s tough for me to say. But the group that has gone out there right now is playing with a lot of intensity and it’s really probably irrespective of who else is out with him.”

In addition to the aforementioned Brad Evans, Kasey Keller and Nate Jaqua have been nursing injuries. Schmid confronted the Keller and Jaqua situations.

“Keller did a little bit of handling,” Schmid revealed. “We didn’t want him, obviously, to do any kicking and we didn’t want him to do a lot of stuff on his feet. We actually wanted him to stay off of it (his injured foot) completely but it’s hard to convince him of that. We feel with the week he should be okay by the weekend. Jaqua felt better today than he has prior days, so we’re hoping that by Friday he can reenter training. He did a lot more today so we’ll have a better picture tomorrow morning.”

Schmid expressed delight over the manner that the newest member of his team, heralded midfielder Blaise Nkufo, is fitting into the Sounders’ picture. “He’s fine,” Schmid declared. “He’s fine with the team. He fits in very well with the group.”

The coach also covered the injury situation of Brad Evans.

“The actual knee that had surgery on it is pretty good,” Schmid said. “He took a knock in the New York game earlier in the season that forced him to be out for about a week to ten days and that’s the knee that’s actually bothering him right now. It’s nothing that we think is going to require surgery but we felt for him to lay low a little bit and give it some time.”

The Seattle schedule has been so busy lately that Schmid expressed relief that his team had a full week to prepare for Sunday’s important Western Conference clash with the visiting Colorado Rapids:

“Yeah, it’s definitely strange to have so much time. We are used to just going back out there and playing again. It’s good. It gives us a little bit of time to sort of take a deep breath. But we want to make sure we stay in rhythm and we stay fit.”

The preparation comment led next to an evaluation of the team’s current status. “I think right now our team work ethic and our team spirit is very good and that’s helped us,” Schmid said. “We are obviously disappointed with that Dallas one (a 1-1 tie at home). If we could’ve picked up three points there instead of just the one that would’ve been nice.

"But these next two league games are very important to us. We have got to go out and approach those games with the same spirit and the same endeavor that we approached the D.C. United game and the Dallas game.”