Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Freddie Ljungberg -- who found himself at the center of a bit of controversy last week when he didn't show up to the start of the Sounders preseason training camp -- [has said on his website that there will be no lockout or strike beginning on February 1st](http://freddie.speaksup.com/2010/01/26/from-feb-1st-i-will-be-with-my-team-in-seattle/).
"Based on the latest news I've heard from both sides, there wont be a lock out or strike on Feb. 1," Ljungberg wrote on his personal blog yesterday. "So from Feb. 1 I will be with my team in Seattle trying to help them become the best team in America." Now, Ljungberg's statement doesn't necessarily mean that a new CBA has been agreed to. Players and the league/owners could simply have agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations.
However, it is worth mentioning that Ljungberg -- who attracted interest from several European clubs this offseason -- stated on his blog that his a large part of his decision about whether to remain a Sounder or leave for Europe depended "on the outcome of the new CBA and lockout threat in MLS." Now that Freddie's announced that he'll be back in Seattle next week, it seems pretty clear that he doesn't think there will be a prolonged work stoppage in 2010.
Overall, this is good news for everyone. We all want to see MLS play out the 2010 season from start to finish and news like this should give us all some hope that we will see that occur. Take Ljungberg's statement with a grain of salt though. Freddie's been spending his time this offseason snowboarding in the Swedish mountains -- not exactly a front row seat for the labor negotiations that have been going on.
I'm sick (and have two midterms to prepare for...) so this is probably my last post of the day. However, I'll be back should any announcements be made regarding the Fire or CBA.