Seattle Sounders to Sign Swedish Star?

by Michael Cardillo

Since the announcement that the Seattle Sounders FC would join MLS in 2009, the club has been linked with a high-priced foreign 'marquee' player. Most of these rumors circulated around a very well-known, former Arsenal star who was an endorsement king.

So it shouldn't come as any shock that the club is set to announce ... Freddie Ljungberg at a press conference Tuesday. Really? Ljungberg? Are you sure? Don't Swedes love death metal, not grunge?

Now, in case you hadn't heard Seattle has been long-linked for to try to wrest Thierry Henry away from Barcelona to bring him to the Pacific Northwest. Guess it'll have to settle for his former Gunners teammate.

This move is relatively bizarre, but perfectly natural within the confines of the so-called 'Beckham Rule', and that's not even factoring in the Swede's career as a Calvin Klein underwear model. The thing is, last season at West Ham United Ljungberg looked absolutely washed-up. He barely even played and looked a lot older than his 31-year-old birth certificate would suggest. It's doubtful playing on Qwest Field's artificial turf will help slow the process, either. He hasn't played since the Euro in June, so maybe eight or nine months off will rejuvenate him.

In fact, this is kind of the bad side of the 'Beckham Rule', as clubs are spending money on over-the-hill, faded European players to try to add some international cache. Even at the peak of his Arsenal glory, Ljungberg was never the media star that Beckham was and frankly how many Americans that don't follow soccer have ever even heard of him? More importantly, how much of an impact can Ljungberg even make on the league, which doesn't cater to older, less physical players.

Hey, it's not my money. If Seattle won't to drop $2.5 million on Ljungberg it's there prerogative. If you live in Seattle, at least the move shows the club is taking things seriously, just keep your fingers crossed that Ljungberg enjoys life in the Emerald City and passes that along to Henry.

Seattle Sounders to Sign Swedish Star? originally appeared on Soccer FanHouse on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 11:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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