Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Seattle takes the DP plunge
by Ridge Mahoney, October 28th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls


[MLS] 2009 expansion franchise Seattle Sounders FC is set to sign an English Premier League veteran with plenty of international experience as a Designated Player and is in the midst of its coaching search. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney looks at the DP choice and the early candidates for the coaching position.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, MLS expansion franchise Seattle Sounders FC will officially announce that it has taken a leap that many of its league counterparts have yet to take.

Veteran Swedish winger/midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, 31, has agreed to a two-year contract as a Designated Player, the provision by which an MLS team can pay any amount it wishes above the league's minimum salary, which was $335,000 in 2008 and hasn't been set for the 2009 season.

Regardless of what figure turns out to be, Ljungberg will make a lot more. Swedish media outlets have reported he will earn $2.5 million per year, which would roughly put him on a par with Fire attacker Cuauhtemoc Blanco behind only David Beckham on the MLS pay scale.

The other players signed by MLS teams as DPs since the rule was adopted in November, 2006 are Juan Pablo Angel and Claudio Reyna (Red Bull New York), Claudio Lopez (Kansas City), Marcelo Gallardo (D.C. United) and Denilson (FC Dallas).

Luciano Emilio (D.C. United) was upgraded to a DP contract this year after scoring 20 goals in 2007. Carlos Ruiz (Toronto FC) and Landon Donovan (Galaxy) earn more than the maximum but do not count as DPs due to their contracts being "grandfathered" by MLS because they were signed before adoption of the DP rule.

Ljungberg starred for several seasons at Arsenal before suffering a series of injuries that knocked him out of regular action and prompted a move to West Ham in the summer of 2007. He played 325 times for Arsenal and scored 72 goals; last season, he scored two goals in 25 league appearances in the first season of what was originally a four-year deal, but he and West Ham agreed to terminate his contract in August and thus was available as a free agent.

He retired from the Swedish national team after playing in the 2008 European Championship, marking his fifth straight appearance in a major tournament. Ljungberg played for Sweden at the 2000, 2004, and 2008 the European Championships, and the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Calls to Seattle Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson were not returned, and several outlets reported that general manager Adrian Hanauer refused to confirm or discuss the deal.

Seattle has signed former U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, midfielder Sanna Nyassi and forward Sebastien Le Toux. It will pick players in the MLS expansion draft Nov. 26, three days after MLS Cup, and has reached an agreement by which Dynamo forward Nate Jaqua will join the team. Its interest in Colombian midfielder Freddy Montero of Deportivo Cali has been reported for nearly a month without confirmation.

In its coaching search, Seattle has been interviewing candidates. It had been given permission to talk with Chivas USA head coach Preki and New England assistant coach Paul Mariner. It has been refused permission to speak with Columbus head coach Sigi Schmid, whose contract expires next month, and is awaiting permission to discuss the opening with Houston coach Dominic Kinnear and his assistant John Spencer.

Other candidates, including former U.S. internationals John Harkes, Peter Vermes and Robin Fraser, have been considered. Current Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer, who has been in charge of the USL-1 team for the past seven seasons, is also a candidate.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Ottawa holds Eddies to scoreless draw in first meeting    
[AMWAY CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP] NASL clubs FC Edmonton and Ottawa opened the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship with ...
Third time is charm for Cruz Azul    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Cruz Azul, which lost in the first of the first two Concacaf Champions ...
Wright-Phillips adds to Dynamo misery with hat trick    
[MLS: Week 8] Bradley Wright-Phillips, who had been doubtful after coming down with a fever on ...
Weimer is latest player sidelined with ACL tear    
[NWSL: Week 3] Tiffany Weimer became the fifth NWSL player to be sidelined with an ACL ...
What They're Saying    
"We can go with confidence into the second leg. I think we played well. The opponent ...
Diego Simeone takes time for child's play    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Argentine Diego Simeone has been busy guiding Atletico Madrid to the ...
Top stands out for Arizona United FC    
[DOWN ON THE FARM] The aptly named Jonathan Top, on loan from FC Dallas to Arizona ...
What They're Saying    
"It's the most amazing experience we're ever going to have in this industry. It simply won't ...
Klinsmann: Dempsey strong start due to Fulham foundation    
[USA MEN] MLS may be the place to be for U.S. World Cup hopefuls, but national ...
Will one-goal lead be enough for Real Madrid?    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Karim Benzema's goal in the 19th minute gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives