So apparently the whole Freddie Ljungberg-not-being-at-training thing was just a BIG misunderstanding and he'll be here on Feb. 1 when the new CBA has been signed.
And he totally thought that his agent (or, in Swedish, "scäpegöåt") had done the communications thing with the Sounders front office, when in fact he hadn't, causing Sigi and Kasey to get all upset over nothing.
That's the official word.
Me, I think it's just a little too...easy. A little too neat. So I've done some digging, and I believe that once again I can give you: The True Story.
Scene: Just after New Year. The camera shows a split screen, Kasey Keller in his Seattle-area living room, holding a phone, rain pouring down outside. Freddie Ljungberg in a ski chalet in front of a fireplace , in snowboarding gear, wineglass in hand, surrounded by beautiful Swedish women.
Freddie: Kasey? Is that you? Man, it's good to hear your voice! I miss you guys so much! I miss the rain! I miss Sigi! I miss Nate! I miss Fred...er... I miss the rain!
Kasey: Oh, Freddie, me too! It hasn't been the same without you. When are you coming back? Please say soon.
Freddie: I was thinking tomorrow.
Kasey: Tomorrow? Great! That's fantastic! Except...
Kasey: Oh, it's just that... That nasty CBA. We just can't get management to give in on some of the issues. Landon and I even made a statement on the FIFpro site, but they didn't care. If we're going to have a season, the players might have to cave.
Freddie: Oh, Kasey, that's awful! Those poor, underpaid players! Is there anything I can do?
Kasey: I don't see what. Unless...
Kasey: No, it's too much to ask.
Freddie: Go on. Tell me!
Kasey: No. It might hurt your reputation.
Freddie: Oh, Kasey, you know I'll do anything for MLS and this team! No sacrifice is too big. I've even flown coach!
Kasey: Well, when you put it that way... Okay. Do you think you could stay in Sweden for awhile? Plant rumors in the sleazy tabloids about European interest? Say you're not sure you'll come back because there could be a lockout?
Freddie: Well... Okay, but why?
Kasey: If management thinks they might lose a big-name player like you, they're sure to give us what we want.
Freddie: Okay, but... Kasey, is this really going to get us the attention we need? Just me and some tabloids? The sad truth is, the second underwear model never gets headlines like the first one.
Kasey: Oh, right. That's true. It's so unfair.
Freddie: Yeah, tell me about it. Especially since I even have bigger...
Kasey: REALLY?!? Is that why you don't shower with the guys?
Freddie: Cheekbones. I was going to say cheekbones.
Kasey: Oh. Heheh. Of course.
Freddie: Here's the thing, though. If we want management's attention, we're going to need headlines. We're going to have to make this controversial.
Kasey: Controversial? Like how?
Freddie: Umm... I've got it! How about I don't show up for training! And I "forget" to let Adrian and Sigi know! And you trash me in the press and tell everybody how unprofessional I am!
Kasey: You mean like...Landon and David?
Freddie: Do you have Grant Wahl's number? He eats this s*** up.
Kasey: On speed dial. I'll call him the second people realize you're AWOL. But Freddie, are you sure you're up to this? You know it's going to affect your reputation.
Freddie: Oh, come on, Kasey. For this league? You know that no sacrifice is too big.
Yup. Pretty sure that's how it really happened.
While you're here, don't forget to read the other True Stories: