Freddie Ljungberg is the Second DP

The Fire added a second designated player by acquiring midfielder Freddie Ljungberg in a trade with Seattle.  The Sounders will receive a 2011 or 2012 conditional draft pick in exchange for the former Arsenal star.  Ljungberg has had a rocky second season in Seattle after showing up late for training camp, getting called out by Kasey Keller, clashing with coach Sigi Schmid, engaging in a verbal battle with Peter Nowak, whining about referees, and then removing himself from Sounders training in July to "pursue other options".

The Fire gave up relatively little to acquire a 2009 MLS Best XI midfielder although the move does come with some concerns.  Ljungberg has a history of injury problems and has battled migraine headaches which have caused him to miss time.  He was also reportedly unhappy with a contract extension offered by Seattle which led to his self imposed exile from the team in July.  Seattle's acquisition of Alvaro Fernandez appeared to seal Ljungberg's exit from the Emerald City.

Ljungberg will also have some added incentive to perform at his best since his contract with MLS expires at the end of the 2010 season.  The trade is another gamble that could result in a big payoff for the Fire while giving up little in exchange.  The Fire essentially traded Justin Mapp to clear a roster spot for Ljungberg.  That is a swap that most fans would have to say is a positive move despite the Swede's issues this year.

Ljungberg has played on the wings for most of his career but the Fire see him filling the central attacking midfield role.  If you read the comments section on July 26 after the Mapp trade, we discussed the Fire's interest in Ljungberg and his impact on the salary cap.  A second designated player will count for $167,500.00 against the cap in 2010 and the Fire are not obliged to Ljungberg in 2011. 

Ljungeberg will join the team in Los Angeles for the match against the Galaxy on Sunday. 

Things have suddenly gotten very interesting in Bridgeview with the addition of Nery Castillo and now Freddie Ljungberg.  It's a volatile mix that could produce some amazing results or some less than desirable headaches.  Given the talent of the two players and the motivation of each individual to right their careers the gamble is one worth taking.  If something can be done to shore up the team defensively and De Los Cobos can mesh the new additions in the last sixteen matches another deep playoff run is possible.

Comments

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  • Love it mostly because it shows ownership is ambitious and with Lunberg there is little downside. I still don't expect them to reach the playoffs but hoping to be wrong.

  • In reply to Celt:

    So everyone complains that all we need is a creative midfielder and we should be great. We get 2 and you still dont think we will make the playoffs. There is no better starting lineup on paper than us in this league.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    The line up is pretty impressive. Attractive, attacking soccer anyone?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Agree on paper we look impressive but where are the goals. Will Nery hit form in 1/2 a season and help us claw back 6 points minimum? That is by no means certain. Will last year's Freddie show up? More importantly, at least to me, is it shows Chicago will not allow itself to become 2nd rate and fall behind the likes of NYRB, Columbus, RSL and a few others.

  • In reply to Celt:

    That's understandable but there is nothing more the organization can do now. It now comes down to the players and the coaches.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Well put.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    The fire certainly have the best offense on paper, but their defense is still pretty questional.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Not really when comparing to other MLS sides. There isn't a much better combo than Conde and CJ in the middle. Krol is a better than decent option on the left and Ward, Robinson and now Kinney are better than decent on the right. The only REAL question we have on our team is the keeper. Everything else, on paper, is just as good if not better than anything else in the league.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Guess I was still thinking of the first superliga match. If they can clean up the mistakes and the lapses in concentration they would be pretty good. Johnson And umanzor have looked promising recently.

  • In reply to Celt:

    These are 2 really good moves for us. Freddie can play in the middle with Logan and Nery can play in front of them and behind McBride.

    ------------McBride---------------

    Pappa-------Castillo---------Nyarko

    -------Ljunberg-------------------
    ---------------Pause--------------

    Krol----Conde-------Brown-----Ward

    -------Dykstra/Johnson------------

    That is a great MLS lineup.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I think that's what we'll see except Castillo will be advanced more forward.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'm very happy with that line-up too, but I'd feel more confident if we had a more proven keeper. Sure will be fun to watch this team and how these moves pan out.

  • Little downside other than being injury prone and not being a leader in the locker room. DP money could have been better spent if he is not on the pitch earning his pay, the Fire has way too many injury problems at present.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Who wants him to be a leader in the locker room? McBride can do that for the offense and Brown can do that for the defense. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure we have a coach.

  • In reply to cweimers:

    If Llungberg respects them then things should work out, if not, it could be same act, new venue...

  • In reply to cweimers:

    This is the perfect signing for the fire. Especially considering how little we gave up for him. He can play the cam Position that we have lacked all uear

  • In reply to fire1020:

    He cant do that though. If he plays there then where does Nery play? Where would Nyarko and Pappa play. Freddie needs to take Baggio's spot and play in the midfield and let Nery be the creative player for us.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Ljungberg will be taking Husidic's spot in the first 11 but Baggio wasn't playing CAM, he was lined up next to Pause in a 4-5-1 with the freedom to get forward. Pappa, Mapp, and Banner have all played in the CAM role at various times during the first half of the season.
    Ljungberg won't play next to Pause. He'll be more advanced (in the CAM role) in a traditional diamond as part of a 4-4-2 formation. This will put more pressure on Pause to cover more ground since Ljungberg will surely be caught forward more often than Husidic was playing next to Logan.
    Castillo will play as a withdrawn forward ahead of Ljungberg and just behind John or McBride. Castillo and Ljungberg will essentially both play creative roles.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Kinda like the formation I had but Pause a little behind Freddie. Should be a very offensive minded team. Has the chance of being fun to watch.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Looks like Marquez will be in New York this week
    http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/07/31/n100731112237.html

  • In reply to cesba:

    What are the chances that Klopas will be going after a 3rd DP? If so, what position they will go after?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I wouldn't bank on a third one but I wouldn't be surprised if he got one.
    As far as positions go.....holding mid or defender. They have enough wing players now and Ljungberg will play in the middle so another attacker doesn't seem likely.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I would think it would have to be a holding midfielder. Unless it was some high profile signing that would warrant the money, a defender shouldnt really be a DP.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Since the Fire got Ljunberg and Castillo assuming the return Robinson, Kinney, Nyarko, Lowry, Pause Thorrington and Husidic back on the roster, who will be the odd men out (Banner/Carr/Umanzor)?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    They're at the roster limit right now with Ljungberg. They don't have to cut anybody unless they add another player.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Justin Mapp is on the field for Philadelphia in the 56th minute. Looks odd in another uniform.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Kinda sucks he had to go right when he started to figure it out again. But I guess the is the best time to sell/trade him. Strike while the iron is hot. It was essentially Mapp for Ljungberg. That might be better in the short term but not the long term unless we can get him for another year.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Wearing number 22 for Philly. Mapp had his chance, it is time to move on.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Nery would play forward and make runs off mcbride. Pause would play defensively in front of the def. Pappa and nyarko on the wings. Ljunberg as a central attacking mid. I think that makes sense.

  • In reply to cweimers:

    I give Klopas, Cobos and Hauptman this, at least they're making changes and sure they're taking some risks with Freddie and Castillo; however, the direction we've been going wasn't good. We either make a crazy, exciting run to the playoffs or we go down in a horrifying ball of flames.

    Either way, it's better than the slow death towards 11th-14th place in the league we've been on.

  • In reply to cweimers:

    Not a bad line up, except for defense.
    The Fire will be in good shape if Conde gets back
    into his usual form. I'd replace Brown with Kinney
    or have him spell Brown occasionally , the kid has lot
    of potential, only thing that could screw it up is putting
    Banner back in the game.
    Another advantage is the Fire has played in 2 or 3 less games
    than some of the teams ahead of them.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Awesome I like this move! Good job! The Mapp experiment is over and we are moving to high profile players that are trying to get back on the right track and we are doing it for pennies on the $!

    I wish we started the season by going after Schelotto after dumping Mapp but this isn't bad either. :-)

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