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Using Ljungberg Situation to Better Understand Transfers, Trades, Rumors and Speculation

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Ljungberg wants you to get it right
Ljungberg wants you to get it right

By now it seems like most Sounders related sites have posted something regarding Ljungberg and a potential transfer/trade that may/may not be upcoming in the near, or not near future. Most of these are really speculation, not rumor. And nearly all are based off of data that relates in no way to Freddie Ljungberg's status.

First let's talk about the difference between a rumor, speculation and ideas. I think this matters, because many are calling the Freddie situation a rumor. Which, until this story, wasn't true.

Rumor - This is based on some amount of insider information. One with named sources is always more likely than one without named sources. Unnamed sources who at least provide a position or title have value. Website X has heard is a great way to say absolutely nothing.

In this case Hanauer has admitted that they are exploring offers for basically everyone. There is nothing that limits his statement to the Swede.

Speculation - When a writer attempts to read tea leaves to get some level of idea concerning a potential upcoming trade or transfer. This can be based on injury reports, house shopping, plane flights, etc. These are not rumors. There is no direct, nor indirect connection of a specific player to or from a specific club.

In the Ljungberg case this is what has happened when people saw a "mysterious" injury and concluded that it means that Ljungberg is moving onwards. It has continued when it was revealed that his locker location has moved. Of course, he could have actually been injured and wanted to sit closer/further from someone/something.

Idea - Literally when a writer says so-and-so is a good fit with club X. This happens when any analyst looks at various roster situations and thinks that a player could wind up somewhere. It is merely based on the talent, not on a rumor, nor on speculation.

Ives responded to tweeted idea that he thought it was a good fit. Not until today did he even speculate.

Trades - these happen within MLS. They can be for draft picks, other players, allocation order, or allocation dollars. They are not transfers. They do not involve cash outright, and the allocation dollars are always less than the allocation portion of a potential transfer to a foreign league.

If Ljungberg went to Red Bull New York, as some people seem to think is probable, the Sounders would not get the value for him that they would if they transfered him outside of MLS.

Transfers - these are cash payments given to the controlling club by another club. They are controlled by a primary and secondary window of opportunity. The MLS window opens on July 15 and is open for 30 days. The window that controls the transfer is the one of the receiving club.

The MLS transfer window has no relationship to whether or where Ljungberg may/may not be traded or transferred, except in that it allows the Sounders the ability to bring in another DP.

Let's review what we know about Ljungberg:

- Loves the greater Puget Sound
- Hates style of play in MLS
- Hates being subjected to paparazzi
- Enjoys teaching the younger players during practice
- Injury prone
- On injury report with minor ankle issue
- Didn't start last match (didn't appear in eight MLS matches last year)
- Locker has been moved, but still has locker
- MLS transfer window opens soon, but has nothing to do with ability to move Ljungberg

From this people have speculated that Ljungberg must be on his way out either via trade to New York Red Bulls, or via transfer out of the country. While they may be right, every single one that connects the MLS transfer window to this move except as an ability to fill the hole of his loss would wind up correct by accident. They were the stock traders of 2008.

Would it be smart to move Ljungberg? Probably. But only if the Sounders get at least 1M$ in transfer cash for him so that they could then spend the 650k$ allocation dollars on two DP quality players. It would be especially important to do that now as he is a Free in November, and letting a player move for nothing is always a bad idea.

Do I think that Ljungberg will be moved? Yes. Because the Sounders can get more for him now than losing him for nothing later. With the League season basically over they need to add two quality players to the roster and the only way to do that is to add significant allocation dollars. Only two players do that, the Freddyain. Get one extended through next year and transfer the other out of the league.