South American Soccer

Morning Ticker: Seattle introduces Ljungberg, Ronaldo to play in Brazil and Heinze slams Sir Alex


Seattle Sounders FC introduced Freddie Ljungberg to the masses on Tuesday, showing off the club’s first designated player and the player Seattle is hoping will be its own answer to David Beckham.

Seattle is certainly spending close to Beckham money on Ljungberg. Reports have Ljungberg signing a multi-year contract with a base salary of $2.5 million, though sources have told SBI the contract is a two-year guaranteed deal valued at $3.5 million per season.

While Ljungberg is clearly talented and, at 31, still relatively young, he is also an injury risk, arguably the biggest injury risk designated player signing since Claudio Reyna.

Ljungberg’s official unveiling was just one of Tuesday’s big stories. Here are some more stories from early Wednesday to get your day going:

Ronaldo eyeing Brazil move

Nearly fully recovered from his latest knee surgery, Brazilian legend Ronaldo has stated that he’s ready to give up soccer in Europe for a chance to return to his native Brazil and play for Flamengo.

A free agent after having his contract with AC Milan expire last summer, Ronaldo has been fielding a variety of offers, but appears ready to settle in with Flamengo, the club he has been rehabbing with.

No word yet on whether Major League Soccer has made one of the many offers Ronaldo is weighing.

Heinze slams Sir Alex comments

Real Madrid defender Gabriel Heinze probably didn’t expect to hear Sir Alex Ferguson talk about him ever again after his departure from Manchester United more than a year ago, which is probably why the Argentine fullback was just a bit displeased to hear Ferguson state that the only reason Real Madrid signed Heinze was to lure Cristiano Ronaldo to Spain.

"This theory of Ferguson’s — that I went to Real so the club could persuade Cristiano (to sign) the following summer– is a work of absolute science fiction," Heinze said in published reports on Wednesday.

Ferguson’s remarks came in the same interview with GQ magazine where he tore into Sepp Blatter, comparing him to African despots and questioning whether Blatter was too old to do his job.

These are just some of the stories making the rounds this Wednesday morning. What do you think of the stories? Think Seattle is insane to play Ljungberg so much? Think Ljungberg will be a full-blown star in MLS? Disappointed to see Ronaldo returning to Brazil? Glad he isn’t coming to MLS?

Share your thoughts on these, and any other stories from Wednesday morning, in the comments section below.

  • rocky

    i Like the the freddie ljungberg signing. Hes a great player when healthy,and has the looks to be the face of the franchise. If he stays healthy its a great move, prob. a better one then Becks. Plus my g/f is from sweeden and now she is acctually interested in MLS.


  • Chrös

    I guess my thoughts on Ljungberg are: Who cares how much he is paid? If he’s a DP, only $400k (hopefully less next year) counts toward the cap, and if the team is willing and able to pay him that much, all the better for us.

    I guess the one downfall would be if this sets too high of a standard for future DPs. Hopefully not.

    And I’d still love to see Ronaldo in MLS. New York seems like the perfect fit if he were to come, since hopefully there will be some buzz to go along with Red Bull Arena next year.


  • Beckster

    BBC is reporting that the Galaxy have postponed the Australian tour due to the impending Beckham loan – they don’t want him to get hurt and I guess no one will come if he isn’t playing?


  • Jason

    Ljungberg is a fine player with some years left in him. I hate that Seattle is using a DP slot on him but if he can stay healthy, I think he can be a very very good player for the team. Here’s to hoping he does well for the sake of Seattle and the MLS.


  • Nick

    I like the Ljungberg signing, but you have to think they could have gotten him for a little less money (if the quoted salary is accurate).


  • Coach

    Too bad about Ronaldo. Would have loved to see him at RB Park. Glad he’s back in the game though, he’s a legend.


  • brett

    if Ljungberg is an injury risk, then Ronaldo would be an injury nightmare…. hope he goes to brazil… yes he would be amazing to have in the MLS if healthy, but i simply dont forsee that happening… altho i would love to have another thing to laugh at RBNJ about 😀


  • Gage

    What exactly makes SAF’s comments SCIENCE fiction? Did they invent some sort of spaceship to transport Heinze from Manchester to Madrid? Somebody should have gotten him a time machine in the process.


  • stephen j. healy

    could joe roth be more arrogant?? would he stop browbeating Adrian in public??


  • kpugs

    Big Ronnie has also said as recently as yesterday that he refuses to put Flamengo “in the lead” for his signature and has been namedropping Man City and PSG this week.

    He’s just fishing for cash, not that I’d expect anything less. I believe he would prefer to stay in Brazil, but he won’t stay there unless they give him the most money.

    I think Fergie is a bit off with that statement but to be completely honest I view Madrid’s front office as a bunch of lying, scheming scumbags. It wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.


  • J

    while I won’t judge until this time next year, it is refreshing to see teams actually try to make a splash or utilize the dp. I really think for the league to grow though, with the current rules in place, is lift the rule of the dp salary acting as a hit to the cap. By taking them completely off the books, maybe it would encourage other teams as well.


  • kpugs

    Haha, that Australian team won’t play the Galaxy if they don’t bring Beckham. Awesome.


  • Will

    I suppose with Microsoft money behind them, it was inevitable they would spend big. Not sure if this was the best move. Sure Beckham got more money than his playing abilities are worth, but he has large marketing value. Ljungberg not so much.


  • RapidsMan

    Congratulations Sounders you now officially have one of the best if not the best FO in the league.

    Please ask them to contact the Rapids FO and teach them a thing or two about footy.


  • Bill

    I’m not expecting much from him – If I was a Seattle fan I fould feel dissappointed (more of a marketing tactic then a strategic move – but I suppose that is what DP is about).

    Is the average soccer fan in US so blind-sided by EPL that any (near) has been will be a star here? Yeah, a bit cynical – can’t wait to see how he handles july/august match days.


  • Sterlinho

    I was at the Fan Press Conference in Seattle yesterday. Freddie says that he feels good and that his body is healthy. They also stated that Freddie will be playing in the middles as opposed to the wings. That should reduce the amount of running on his body. Joe Roth also said that we should know who the coach is by December and that in the same way they do everything big, expect the same out of the coaching position.


  • Jonathan

    An average injury prone player >> a world class injury prone player


    What world are they living in? Both will probably not play a full season healthy, but the more recognizable one is left out?


  • noname


    The biggest DP injury risk after the Reyna signing was Gallardo at DCU. Ljungberg could be in that class but I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Hope he lives up to the hype and some great past performances; and gives us some games to remember in MLS.


  • Doug S

    Ives, you wanna qualify those “injury risks” statements with some objective data?? Or is that just pure conjecture on your part??


  • soccerroo

    I like the Seattle signing. payment only becomes a problem if he has injury issues like Renya did.

    Ronaldo needs to stay in Brazil and get healty and in shape before he goes anywhere including MLS.


  • Ben

    I was a little skeptical at first, but I gotta say I’m really warming up to Ljungberg. He seems genuinely excited about playing here in Seattle, and I think he’ll provide the leadership and experience the Sounders need going into their first season. And despite what many are saying, there is a sizable Scandinavian population and culture here, so it’s a good fit all around. Now, is there a chance the Sounders can lure Hidetoshi Nakata out of retirement? How perfect would that be?


  • patagonia

    Is Ronaldo aware of the huge tranny population in NYC? That should make RBNY more appealing to him.


  • Betinho

    I think Sir Alex’s comments are a good example of the pot calling the kettle black! His comments are just as rediculous.


  • Scott C

    I think its great news for Seattle fans. If Freddy stays healthy, I think he’s the type of player that can make a big impact in this league, ala Darren Huckerby. But more importantly, it shows a big commitment from the Seattle front office to make this team a winner from the start. This, and the fact that they are actively scouting in South America show that they are not just going to rely on the expansion draft to create a team. No “but we’re just an expansion team” excuse here!


  • Tom P

    Hope his worn out knees enjoy the field turf.

    I loved him at Arsenel but I just don’t uderstand the “soccer thinking” behind this move.


  • Tom P

    Doug S

    As a West Ham follower I can tell you that his knees, both of them, have very little mileage left.

    My swedish co workers say the same thing and to them he is national soccer god.


  • Steve

    Fragile DP? Field Turf in a football Stadium? No trophies (granted they haven’t played yet)?

    Who says there isn’t second NY team?


  • Nick

    Ouch, Steve, ouch. That one hurt.

    Anyways, if Freddie holds up well, this will be another case of Colubus’ DP where the star power doesn’t match beckham but increases the quality of the play dramatically. If he holds up, this will be a great, and I mean GREAT move. I’d rather see a better product on the pitch than a bunch of washed up names. Freddie was a better player in his prime than Becks ever was.


  • Luis

    I wasn’t a fan of this signing before, and now I’m not sure. If he stays healthy, great, if not, it’s obviously a bust. I just hope that he shows the ability to be some sort of playmaker and make those around him better.

    And by the way, I don’t see how this signing is a marketing move, unless the goal is to sell Sounders jerseys in Sweden. Although there is a Swedish population in Seattle, it’s not really that large, and the interest of that population in soccer is not that high (they don’t exactly pack soccer bars around here when Sweden is playing and there aren’t any good Swedish clubs/rec teams in the area).

    The way I see it, he was signed with the hope that he stays healthy and that he can help make the Sounders competitive from Day 1. I hope it works, because I want a reason to cheer at games beyond the simple fact that I’m drunk.


  • Go

    Even Ljunberg cant make that puke green jersey look good. The only thing this does for Ljunberg is make him look even more MINOR LEAGUE. MLS = MINOR LEAGUE SUCKERS


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    I’m sorry Nick, did u say “Columbus’ DP?” Is there something you know that the rest of us doesn’t? Anyway, Mighty brings up a good point, one that has bothered me all along…why do you sign a DP when you don’t have a coach? What if the player doesn’t mesh with the style of the coach? If I were whoever the new coach is, I’d already be a bit miffed that they’ve already used up almost 20% of the salary cap on a player I didn’t sign off on. Just sayin’.


  • JD

    I cant believe everyone is bitching about the money being paid to Freddy. $3.5 million dollars is chicken feed in the world of pro sports. We live in a world where guys like Stephen Marbury and Raef LaFrentz are making $15-20 million to ride the pine. Since most of you seem to live in a make believe world where, you actually believe that a European soccer god in his prime would ever want to come play in MLS, need to WAKE UP! Europe’s view on MLS is: Minor League Sh*t,no superstar is ever going to come here and play. The best that you can hope for is to find and sign young hungry guys from South and Central America; and thank your lucky stars that guys like Angel, Schelleto, and Blanco, have thrived in MLS. Lets hope they spread the word when they return to their countries in the offseason, that maybe that MLS isnt such a bad place to be. Welcome to MLS Freddy, lets hope you have a healthy and productive season!


  • Trent

    Can some of you guys that say that Freddy isn’t DP worthy, please give me your list of players who you feel are DP type players.I want legit guys, who MLS would actually have a shot of signing.Please fire away!


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