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.
September 2009: 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.
January 2010: 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.
March 2010: 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.