Timeline: Seattle's loss is Chicago's gain
SEATTLE – Freddie Ljungberg and Seattle seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Today he is a Chicago Fire player. The timeline of events that led to the first DP trade in MLS history:
October 2008: Sounders
announce the signing of the Swedish icon.
December 2008: The
Sounders medical staff correctly diagnose and treat the nagging hamstring
problems that had limited him with West Ham United. To Ljungberg’s delight, hip
surgery cures the root cause of the issue and he is able to return to action
just after the start of the 2009 MLS season.
April 2009: Ljungberg scores his first goal with Sounders FC, a lovely give-and-go
with Nate Jaqua on a blustery day in Toronto. He would only score two goals in
league play for Seattle in 39 league games.
July 2009: Ljungberg
captains the MLS All-Stars against Everton. He is taken to the hospital after
the match after suffering from a migraine headache.
Freddie starts and plays the full 90 minutes as Seattle defeats D.C. United for the
US Open Cup, the club’s first major trophy.
October 2009: The
midfielder is named MLS Player of the Month for October as Seattle cruises into
the playoffs in its first season.
November 2009: Ljungberg
(2 goals, 9 assists) is named to the Major League Soccer Best XI, a week after
Seattle is bounced from the playoffs by the Houston Dynamo.
Ljungberg shows up a week late to Sounders FC training camp, citing the uncertainty in the
labor situation between the league and the MLS Players Union. Captain Kasey Keller
blasts his teammate's commitment.
Ljungberg is roughed up by the Philadelphia Union in the first game of the
season. The Swede takes a massive hit from Philadelphia center back Toni Stahl,
an impact so great that Ljungberg reported fluid buildup on his spine and
numbness in his right leg.
May 2010: Relations
between Ljungberg and the club become strained after a 1-0 loss at home against
the San Jose Earthquakes in which Ljungberg argues vehemently with the referee during the match.
Coach Sigi Schmid calls out Ljungberg in his postgame comments while Keller calls for accountability.
July 4, 2010:
Freddie Ljungberg plays his last match in a Seattle Sounders uniform, a loss
against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The loss drops Seattle to a 4-8-3 on the
season. The club later announces that Ljungberg will be training on his own as
he attempts to find a new team.
July 30, 2010:
Ljungberg joins the Chicago Fire in exchange for a conditional draft pick.