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Seattle's Ljungberg enjoying his time in America

Seattle Sounder star Freddie Ljungberg says he is thoroughly enjoying his time in the US and being a part of MLS.

The former Arsenal and West Ham midfielder has been brilliant for the Sounders in his and the franchise's first season in the competition and is loving the challenge of playing in a completely new environment.

"One thing I've learned is that you have to be open-minded," Ljungberg said in an interview with American Chronicle.

"We know it's a new game here. We know it's the new game on the market. And we [foreign players] have to change a little bit.

"When I talked with [Sounders' majority owner] Joe Roth before I came here, he told me, 'You have to be going forward. You have to entertain. It's America. We need to score goals.' In the end, I took a little bit of a gamble. I trusted what Joe Roth told me about the game in this country and it's worked out."

The Swede added that it was nice to be able to walk around a city and not be hounded by media and fly under the radar more than he is used to.

"It's been really nice, refreshing here," he said. "I can walk around. There is not a lot of paparazzi. That's part of my life in the rest of the world, but here I go out on my boat. I relax. It's much different.

"I don't want to sound bigheaded or anything, but when you reach a certain level of recognition or fame, or whatever you want to call it, when you're young the first couple of years you think, 'Oh, this is fun.' But now, I kind of stay away from it. If there's a back door somewhere, I take it. I try to get about without being noticed.

"I like my privacy. I'm quite shy in that way. I won't look at those billboards. I don't want to see it. The [underwear] ads contradict, a little bit, who I am. It's a little weird, really."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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