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Seattle's DP hopes to play on Saturday
by Mike Woitalla, March 25th, 2009 7AM
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[MLS] Swedish attacker Freddie Ljungberg, whom the Seattle Sounders signed as a Designated Player at $1.31 million before they even hired Coach Sigi Schmid, is set to play on Saturday against Real Salt Lake in what would be his first competitive match since the 2008 European Championship.

"I think we are going to try to play on the weekend; I think that's the plan," Ljungberg, who is recovering from hip surgery, told MLSnet.com. "How much it will be -- that's a different question. We will play a little bit and see how it feels in a match situation. I don't think I will start because we want to make sure it feels right. Maybe I'll play a shorter time; we will see this week how I feel. So far this week, it feels good."

Ljungberg played 30 minutes in "reserve" match against Concordia University last Friday.

Seattle signed Ljungberg to a hefty salary -- fourth highest in the league behind David Beckham (Los Angeles/$6.5 million), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago/$2.94 million) and Juan Pablo Angel (New York/$1.8 million) -- despite the fact that injuries plagued him during his last season in the English Premier League, 2007-08 with West Ham.

From 1998 to 2007, Ljungberg played 216 EPL games for Arsenal and scored 46 goals.



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