Freddie Lundberg to Seattle

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I’m guessing this is a bit of a David Beckham type signing, in that Freddie Lundberg is at the tail end of his soccer career but still could draw in a lot of fans and give a workman like performance for the team. He’s not an out and out goal scorer, no free kick specialist like Beckham, but does have a lot of experience and can bring that to this new MLS team in Seattle. What Lundberg does have as a soccer players is a craftiness and tons of experience at a top club like Arsenal.

However, I’d have liked to see Seattle base their new team around their current Seattle Sounder club, look at what the Houston Dynamo have done. They have not gone out and signed a big name player, rather they’ve signed players that fit into their team – role players that plug in nicely with their current team.

In our fourth episode of “Once A Sounder” we travel to London to visit former Sounder and Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg, who discusses his journey back to Arsenal Football Club where he is now a first-team assistant coach.

Sure, Houston already has some big names in Ching and De Rosario, and so they haven’t had to sign a big name, but they haven’t wasted money on a name just to bring in fans either.

Rather, they are building a club for the long term around young players like Stuart Holden, which is what Seattle should do. They should follow their game plan. Keep their current coach, Brian Schmetzer, who’s helped Seattle win titles in the past and knows the Seattle area.

Freddie Lundberg does have years of experience in the EPL with Arsenal and internationally with Sweden, so he may show the way for this new club. We’ll see.

Also, Lundberg has struggled with injuries of late, so I’d have much rather have seen Seattle spend the money on young players and really just keep the current Seattle team intact. Why not try it? See what this team could do. Plus, they have Kasey Keller in goal, that’s a good start right there. Give it a year or two and then pick up players that you need.

Before last season, Ljungberg spent nine years with Arsenal, where he scored 46 goals in 216 regular-season appearances. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound native of Vittsjo, Sweden, was voted one of Arsenal’s 50 greatest players in franchise history. He’s a two-time winner of Sweden’s top soccer player of the year award and has been on two of Sweden’s World Cup teams.

Injuries have affected his production in recent years, and Ljungberg retired from international competition, which makes him a good fit with Sounders FC because he wouldn’t be leaving the team in midseason for Swedish national-team games.

Extra: One of the best things going for the Sounders is that there’s no more NBA in Seattle, what with the Sonics leaving. So it’s all soccer up in the Northwest, along with American football and baseball of course.

Freddie Lundberg is also part of our new bald force.

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