UPDATE: Here's what Sigi Schmid had to say: (On team’s play without Ljungberg . . .) "Freddie is a great player and he brings energy onto the field. Every time he plays on the field he plays with energy. For us as a team, you have to judge how we play with him or without him. I know I have my feelings and my judgments on that thing. But at the end of the day, our backs are against the wall and I think the guys know that. That helps you find some spirit and desire and sometimes when you hit a good streak somebody is not in the team. For example, [Brad] Evans is not in the team right now. We are hitting a good streak. Does that mean if he was on the field we would be better or would we be worse? It’s tough for me to say. But the group that has gone out there right now is playing with a lot of intensity and it’s really probably irrespective of who else is out with him."
If you own a Twitter machine (and if you don't you should consider obtaining one) you are probably aware that there was some rather juicy news to come out of Sounders training today: Freddie Ljungberg has officially decided to "look at other options," according to Sounders Technical Director Chris Henderson, via @johnpboyle Twitter account.
I don't know that this means he is as good as gone, but it certainly doesn't bode well for any longterm prospects of FL10 wearing Rave Green.
The key here will be how much interest Ljungberg's agent is able to drum up.
My assumption is that Ljungberg is much more interested in getting out of MLS in general, rather than Seattle in particular. I'm basing that upon the fact that Ljungberg must realize that his situation here is about as good as he's going to find in the league -- world-class facilities, ownership willing to spend money, a large fanbase that still allows him privacy and, especially now, quality teammates. He'll be hard-pressed to find anything close that combination anywhere else, and I include New York in that statement.
If this assumption is correct, that means FL10's agent is primarily looking overseas. I'm sure there will be some interest and if the Sounders can snag a reasonable transfer fee and parlay that into a replacement DP -- hopefully someone that plays in the middle of the field somewhere -- this really wouldn't be such a bad thing.
I have no personal knowledge of FL10's plans, but a worst-case scenario would involve him neither playing nor leaving and just sucking up cap space. I would like to think that this is still an amicable situation and FL10 has no inclination to sit out if a viable destination can not be found, but it is the worst-case scenario nonetheless.
In the meantime, I think it's safe to say that we should probably just hope that a decent situation can be found, a reasonable transfer amount is agreed upon and we part ways knowing that FL10 was instrumental in helping the Sounders' launch go just about perfectly. I really see no reason to feel animosity toward him, nor toward the FO which I don't think has done anything wrong up to this point.