The Seattle Sounders FC will hopefully get more than just another highly paid underwear model with tattoos when its designated player Freddie Ljungberg takes to the field next season. But as Ravi Ubha writes, if you put the player's name in google "the first thing that pops up is four pictures of the 31-year-old clad only in Calvin Klein undies, thankfully unaccompanied by Posh Spice."
According to Seattle native and Reading FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who has played against Ljungberg in England, "there's going to be a lot of girls excited that he's coming to Seattle. He's a good-looking guy, there's no way to get around it." He can also play a bit too, as his career with Arsenal and the Swedish national team proves. But do the recent injury problems that hampered a poor year at West Ham United mean Seattle's bought a damaged product past its sell-by date?
"We all knew what a great player he was coming from Arsenal," said West Ham's U.S. defender Jonathan Spector, "and there were a lot of injuries, unfortunately, that he suffered, and because of that he just wasn't able to make the impact we all knew he could." Handicapped by migraines, broken ribs and various other injuries, he still managed to play 22 of 38 games last season, but had his contract terminated by mutual consent in August. "The fans were disappointed," said Spector, "and the players felt that he could help the team. But he's still a very good player."
Ljungberg's agent Claes Elefalk may not be an unbiased source, but he claims his client's health problems are over. "Over the last 10 years he's averaging some 35-40 games per season, which is much more than most players around the world," Elefalk said. "Yes, he's been injured, but he has played more than anybody else as well. Also, Freddie is a player that is tremendously fit and strong physically." Furthermore, according to Elefalk, Ljungberg is currently unattached.