Chicago Fire’s Klopas reveals reasons for Ljungberg trade

Chicago Fire technical director Frank Klopas has revealed the reasons behind the first Designated Player trade in MLS history.

Chicago Fire technical director Frank Klopas has revealed the reasons behind the first Designated Player trade in MLS history.

Last weekend, the Fire landed former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg from the Seattle Sounders and Klopas said he knew the club had to have him after holding discussions about a potential deal.

“When you talk to him, you realize he’s a pretty honest guy with integrity. He wants to win. He’d been at Toyota Park and he liked the atmosphere here, and he liked Chicago. I think he wanted the opportunity to play on grass and the opportunity to win in a great city like this,” Klopas said in an interview with MLSsoccer.com.

“He had a great experience with the fans in Seattle and he had a great time there. It wasn’t like he was sitting there bad-mouthing Seattle or anyone up there. He’s a professional. He had a great time there, but maybe there were some things that he didn’t like. It was also a change for him to get off of playing on turf, and I think he liked that.

“And it fit for the position we were looking for. We wanted someone more in the middle to help (new signing) Nery (Castillo) make the impact we want from him. It really was a perfect fit for us and perfect timing.

“You can tell he’s a real competitor. And you don’t get to the level he’s been to without all those qualities. You can have all the talent in the world, but you go nowhere without those qualities.”