Seattle Sounders star Ljungberg returns to clear things up
Seattle Sounders star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has returned to the club for pre-season training and also to clarify a few things.
The former Arsenal and West Ham man was unsure of his Sounders future over the Christmas period as he feared a lockout due to the impending change of MLS’ collective bargaining agreement and feared he may not be able to play football for a year.
But things worked out for the better and Ljungberg finally dismissed any opportunity to return to Europe and will now honour the second year of his two-year contract with Seattle.
"The CBA, you don't know what's happening. For me personally, I'm 32 years old. I thought it was going to be much quicker, and I can't sit a year and not play football. (I was) waiting and now it looks like it is going to be resolved. At the same time, a lot of clubs have been interested, which is nice,” he said.
"We haven't got that much information (about the lockout), and I tried to speak to owners and the union and it seemed nothing happening, quite bad news, then all of a sudden better news and there wouldn't be a lockout. That's when I decided I'll be back here in Seattle."
Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller made clear his opinions of Ljungberg potentially walking out on the club after just one season but the Swede, although refusing to name names, said that issue was now resolved.
"I heard someone talking about that and that's disappointing, someone talking like that. I solved it this morning, so we're on the same page,” he added.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid admitted that things were now back to normal and Ljungberg will resume with the club despite being linked with teams overseas.
"There was some miscommunication. There were teams that had interest in him, the situation with the CBA going on, the communication between his agent and him, his agent and (Sounders general manager) Adrian (Hanauer), is an offer going to come in, is an offer not going to come in. Should he be flying over there if we are going to accept an offer. ... There's enough blame to go around. How much blame lands here, here, here, that's something we'll decide internally,” Schmid said.
Schmid also suggested he was keen for the Swede to bring more to the table despite being named in the MLS Team of the Year last season.
“We definitely want him to get more goals this year," Schmid said. "Want him to maintain the assists that he got, maybe a little more."