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Ljungberg's Hard Work Paying Off As Playoffs Approach

Freddie Ljungberg's tireless work for Seattle Sounders FC doesn't often show up on the score sheet. But Ljungberg's teammates and coaches recognize him as a crucial catalyst to the team. "He's been doing it all season," striker Roger Levesque said. "He's the type of guy, when push comes to shove, he'll get the job done. He brings that attitude to our team and it's infectious throughout the team -- seeing him go out there and work harder than anyone else on the field is pretty amazing. He pulls the rest of us along with him."

This week, however, MLS recognized Ljungberg's efforts with the Player of the Week Award. The midfielder played a role in all three of Seattle's goals in its 3-2 win over Kansas City. Ljungberg notched two assists and served a heads-up corner kick to the near post that rebounded nicely for Tyrone Marshall to finish. Ljungberg's industry also produced the game-winner. He stripped Kansas City's Matt Besler of the ball, drove forward, and dished to Nate Jaqua to finish in front of an empty net.  

Ljungberg's recent assists suggest his increasing comfort with his teammates as he embraces his playmaker role. "It's like I have said all season, the more and more you play together and the more and more you play games as a unit with guys in certain positions it becomes better and better," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "It becomes more understandable for the guys to know where guys are going to show up and on what parts of the field. I think the guys have a better feeling of where Freddie is going to show up. Freddie has a better feel of when he is going to get the ball and when he should appear at certain spots on the field. That's just something that comes with time." After battling off-season hip surgery, migraines and a bout of hypoglycemia, Ljungberg appears to be hitting his stride as Seattle enters the postseason.

Read the whole story at MLSnet.com »

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