Well, GoalSeattle's teaser about Freddie Ljungberg of Swedish National Team and Arsenal fame just blew up onto the net big time. Ives has a second source. So the talks are likely.
Maybe the ability to transfer on a "free" is part of way Freddie hasn't played so far this year? Is it possible that he's healthy and has turned down offers because he wanted to sign with a club that's Disney friendly? (read the whole article, I'll get back to that)
Now, I've written on the Designated Player quite a bit on this blog, and more over at Seattlesoccertalk.com and my old haunts at Fanhome. I'm of the opinion that they are quite necessary for any team with any kind of financial backing, but due to their limited nature I think that most teams are afraid to use their only slot as it is high risk. A club could wind up with a Denilson or Claudio Lopez. So I will say quite early in this piece that I ONLY like the idea of Freddie Ljungberg is if the team has two DP slots.
This could be accomplished through two paths. The first is to deal for a slot; there are 6 unclaimed spots at this time, plus a very strong chance that TFC uses there's next year. The teams which could deal a slot are the Quakes, FC Dallas, Houston, Columbus, New England. The other way is to join forces with clubs like the Galaxy, Red Bull New York and DC United and push hard for a second slot straight up at the upcoming November owners meeting. Either way Seattle needs a second slot in order to mitigate the risks, particularly of the recently injury ravaged Ljungberg.
This is a Freddy Ljungberg post so let's take a little detour to justify my nickname for him - 'lil Becks.
But it isn't just his body, but his skills are as winger, less a deep baller than Beckham, he's darter and scorer. He earns his assists on neat short passes while scoring basically every fifth match. For Sweden he plays a CAM where as he attacks mainly from the right wing while with Arsenal (his time with West Ham was marred with migraines and a hip injury).
He isn't the answer, but he definitely gives the attack of the Sounders additional respect and immediately gives the billboards a face that attracts the ladies and the ex-pats all while younger than Beckham in his first year.
But that isn't the only news.
Joe Roth was interviewed at SoundersFC.com and he drops a smaller hint at things to come in the next six weeks. The club is one player away from a starting 11. Gladly he didn't say "the starting 11."
But he's fairly certain that by Thanksgiving 10 of the 28 will be announced. Let's see who we have and where they are from;
Keller - WA
Le Toux - France
Nyassi - Ghana
two strong rumors
Freddie Ljungberg - Sweden
Freddy Montero - Colombia
My readers might have missed this, but I wrote that we know of six other players that are ready to take the step up as part of Sounders FC's USL Discovery Rights.
Those six are;
Josh Gardner - TX
Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar - Mexico
Leighton O'Brien - WA
Taylor Graham - CA
Chris Eylander - WA
Youssouf Kante - France
And it literally could be all six. No joke. Because with two keepers they would still be short of a starting squad. With just those signings the club would be from 7 different nations (8 if you count Texas), and would still be lacking Asian talent that we know they crave.
Of course by now readers of my blog know of several players that intrigue me, though most are in the attacking role and those seem to be filling up quickly at this point. Akram and Khalifan would be my prime targets still, with Sun Jihai the Chinese right back making a ton of sense as well.
These are an exciting few weeks for Sounders fans, with the USL club in Argentina (maybe bringing a player or two back?) and with several signings to be announced.