When 2009 opened the Ljungberg focus was two-fold; would he be healthy and would he take the American version of the game seriously? For 2010 we won't have those questions. We know that Ljungberg will be fairly healthy, a reasonable expectation would be for him to have 25 starts this season. We also know that he may just be taking the game here too seriously.
Freddie just might have some anger management issues. These tend to show up during what he perceives as a poor call and led to all but one of his yellows, and his only red. While that spirit can be a benefit it must be channeled. The Sounders are a better team when he's on the field and paying attention and there is no evidence that complaining to the referees improved things for anyone in the Rave Green.
The questions we are left with concerning 2010, now that camp has its most famous attendee, will concern with how Freddie is used within the arrow as well as how well he can work with his teammates. Last season saw a bit of issue when Freddie didn't see the expected pass or run. This may be less apparent with a full season, and a nearly full training.
Last season Freddie spent time as a CAM (early season 4-diamond-2), the Right Wing and as a Withdrawn Forward. It actually turned out that Freddie was a bit better without the ball at his feet for a long period of time, like as a CAM, but when he picked up the ball further forward things went much better. This is part of why I think the Freddyain (two guys named Freddy) will be the strikeforce for 2010.
Offense: Freddie is the top offensive talent on the team. He has deft dribbling, the ability to thread a pass over dozens of yards and makes the runs that give him and others space. His shot is still potent, though not much a threat from distance.
Defense: Ljungberg has never been known for defense as much as he has for his tenacity. He isn't going to stop an player from bringing it up, but his likely to slow them down enough that his team can get back into position.
Set-Plays: Corners are just better when Freddie provides the service. He's decent at the indirect kick, but when it comes to taking a direct kick he is slightly lacking. Defensively he should be the man starting the counter.
Defining Moment: Oddly I consider the month of October to be his defining moment. He took over the team and forced his will on the opposition. He was exactly what you want from a franchise player. Though he didn't score goals he tallied assists like bums collect change. They don't necessarily want what they got, but get enough and things are better.
Plus/Minus - 10 | 10
Plus/Minus Per 90 - 0.49 | 0.53
Productivity in League Play - 0.64
Productivity in All Competitions - 0.63
Ratings from Prost Amerika - 6.95 (1st)
Second +/- listed uses Climbing the Ladder's data.
Short Term Peak - Clearly a past peak player now, Freddie has a chance to put up much better numbers as the team has settled on his usage, and he drives for that final pay day.
Thoughts on Freddie's 2009 and his outlook for 2010?