Chicago Fire have announced that they have acquired former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg from Seattle Sounders. Today's move marks the first-ever trade of a Designated Player in the history of Major League Soccer. The 33-year-old midfielder becomes the Fire's second designated player and will become available for selection by Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos this Sunday, Aug. 1 when the Fire take on the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA at 6:30 PM CT (FSC/FSE). Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Freddie is an exceptional player, with world-class talent and we are thrilled to have him join the Chicago Fire," said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. "He is a player with an illustrious career and as an attacking player he will help us towards our goal of bringing the MLS Cup to Chicago."
Credited as one of the founding members of Seattle Sounders FC, Ljungberg helped lead the expansion side to the 2009 MLS Cup playoffs in their inaugural season. In 2009, Ljungberg tallied two goals and nine assists, including five game winning assists, as the former Arsenal great was named to the 2009 MLS Best XI.
"I have been thinking long and hard about the next step in my career and I am extremely happy to become the newest member of the Chicago Fire," said Ljungberg. "I had a very long and exciting meeting with Fire owner Andrew Hauptman and technical director Frank Klopas. Their vision and commitment to this club and to winning championships was extremely appealing to me. I am looking forward to working with my new teammates, meeting the passionate fans of Section 8 and becoming an active part of the community, which has such a strong and successful sports tradition."