[MLS] Unhappy Swedish star Freddie Ljungberg became the first Designated Player ever traded when the Seattle Sounders shipped him to the Chicago Fire in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2011 or 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
Ljungberg was an MLS Best XI selection in 2009 but has not played for the Sounders in recent weeks.
His exit from the lineup coincided with a turnaround for the Sounders, who are unbeaten in their last five games and back in contention for a playoff berth.
His late arrival at pre-season training camp led to speculation that the Swede would leave the Sounders. Ten days ago, Seattle announced Ljungberg would pursue a trade or transfer.
He's been bothered by an ankle injury this season and had no goals and three assists in 15 games for Seattle.
The trade comes a day after the Sounders acquired Uruguayan World Cup midfielder Alvaro Fernandez.
"I want to start off by saying how proud I am to have been part of the most successful new franchise in MLS history, the Seattle Sounders FC," Ljungberg said in a statement released after his trade. "I didn't know exactly what to expect when I first came to Seattle but I have to say that how the city and the fans have embraced me has gone beyond my wildest dreams and for that I am forever grateful. I also want to thank my teammates who are absolutely great on and off the pitch. I have made some very close friends who I know I will be in contact with forever."