Seattle Sounders’ Ljungberg: This is longest pre-season ever

Seattle Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has rated this as the longest pre-season he has ever been involved in.

The former Arsenal and Sweden star is currently in Spain as the Sounders compete in the La Manga Cup and says that the eight weeks of training prior to the MLS season is much more than he is used to when playing in Europe.

‘With the Sounders, we are in Spain right now in what has become the longest preseason I've ever played in,’ Ljungberg wrote in his column for Soccernet.

‘At Arsenal we typically trained for three to four weeks and then we played. We are training for about seven to eight weeks with the Sounders, so it's hard to determine how hard to train and how hard to push myself. I talk a lot to the fitness coaches about how to plan that.

‘On the field, we have some unfortunate injuries to some key players, but I hope they can be back at the start of the season. In MLS, that becomes difficult because of the salary cap. When you lose some of your starters, you can't just replace them with new players.

‘Before coming to Spain, we were in Arizona for nine days before making a 27-hour journey to Europe that, from boarding the plane to arriving at the hotel, was the longest trip I've ever taken! But we're working hard and we're getting fit.’

The Sounders have won one and lost one in the cup and take on Norway’s SK Brann on Thursday.