MLS- Seattle Sounders

Ljungberg signs with Celtic FC


Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Freddie Ljungberg's stay in Major League Soccer is officially over.

After two up-and-down seasons in the United States, Ljungberg is headed back to the United Kingdom after signing with Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic FC. Terms of the deal were not announced, and Ljungberg is expected to be introduced at a press conference on Friday.

Ljungberg had been on trial with Celtic this week before coming to an agreement with the club on Thursday.

In his two seasons as a Designated Player in MLS, Ljungberg accumulated four goals and 20 assists with the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire. As a result of the Fire not re-signing Ljungberg, Chicago must yield its second-round pick (No. 27 overall) to Seattle in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft, per their trade agreement from the summer. Had the Fire re-signed Ljungberg before the draft, it would have had to send its first-round pick (No. 9 overall) to the Sounders.

How would you rate Ljungberg's time in MLS? Do you think he's a good fit for Celtic?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Second City

    I think his stay in MLS was feign-tastic.

    As in constantly feigning injury and outrage at officials every thirty seconds.

    The 2nd Round pick for his rental services are a glowing indictment of the Fire front-office performance and decisions lately.

    DeRo up next?


  • Gus

    I think at the end of the day you have to call it a success. When big name international players come in they help the league in merch sales, ticket sales, local, regional, international press. All of that helps the league. Was his on the field impact as successful as the off the field impact not in the slightest. Which is why at the end of the day it was fine that he left when he did. So thanks for the revenue and the ink, now be on your merry.


  • RedLine55

    I think I’m with you on this one, Gus. He’s not a beckham, of course, but he brought even more news to the league, and helped out with tickets and merch a bit.

    He didn’t have the box office influence of Blanco, nor the merch sales of Beckham, but I know quite a few people in chicago who bought his jersey, and I assume there were a lot more who did the same in Seattle. I won’t miss him, but it was fun to watch.


  • Jeremy

    What other big stars went back to Europe on permanent deals after playing in MLS? At least the move bucks the notion that he came for retirement.


  • Seth

    He did nothing but complain about everything the whole time he was in the U.S.. He’s talented, but not a great fit here. I am not sad to see him go


  • Russ

    Agreed. Funny that after complaining of the physicality of MLS, he moves to a league with a reputation of being one of the most physical.


  • yankiboy

    I gotta diagree with Gus (excpet for the final statement).

    While I like your thought process I see one big flaw with the litmus test:

    Lothar Herbert Matthäus and Youri Raffi Djorkaeff pretty much did all of the things that you listed and I would call them busts.

    I don’t think Ljungberg stole paychecks anywhere as near as bad as those guys but I can’t call him a league success.

    +1 on the logic…

    the conclusion: let’s just agree to disagree…


  • matt f.

    I think even though you say he complained about the physicality of the league, I never saw him once give an interview where he bad mouthed MLS. He was always a proponent of the sport here and always gave it glowing reviews. I think he even said the level was on par with the premier league in terms of speed and work rate. He obviously agreed that technically and tactically it needed help, but he said it was a place where you could not come to relax. And 20 assists over two years is great, creating a goal is just as good as gettin one.


  • hudson

    Agree w/ Jeremy. Ljungberg’s move to Celtic is important in that it shows joining MLS doesn’t necessarily spell the end of a top player’s career. That’s a result of players like Ljungberg and Beckham coming to MLS before the very end of their playing days, as they had in the past. That’s a healthy sign for the league and should send a positive signal to other top players considering joining MLS before their last one or two years.


  • Morning Train

    if you would have asked this question 9 months ago the answers would have been considerably different.

    Had he stayed in Seattle and not had the issues (whatever they were) his stay would have been considered extremely successful, a 9/10 as of March 2010, a 4/10 for the latter part of his stint.


  • torporindy

    I read a story about this move on the BBC because I wanted to see how the move from MLS to the SPL was characterized. It was almost suggested in the article that he came to America in order to rehab his injuries and now that he is fit, he will be returning to Europe.


  • Morning Train

    6/10 for the latter, 4 is a bit harsh. he did look rejuvenated in a very mediocre Fire side


  • Morning Train

    6/10 for the latter, 4 is a bit harsh. he did look rejuvenated in a very mediocre Fire side…and one day i will learn how to reply to my own comment!


  • Charles

    It is funny how everyone is criticizing him for being unprofessional ( he does flop a lot, so he deserves that )…..

    But when it comes right down to it, he could barely function in MLS, and whatever he or anyone thought the reason was, he never badmouthed the league, players, coaches, anything to compensate or explain.

    Because of that, I hope he crushes it in the SPL, after hating having him start for the Sounders.


  • Goody B

    Was great in his 1st season, but once MLS defenses figured out his flopping act, he wasn’t the same player.


  • Swed

    I agree with the comments regarding his attitude toward the league. From a PR standpoint he was a hit, as he has not (yet) badmouthed the league and the Sounders FO used his signing to fill seats. It was timed perfectly in the senses that every other week the Sounders dominated local media coverage with an announcement (ljunberg signing, collabro announcing, montero signing, “scarving seattle”, etc.). Plus, he fit the seattle demographic well (there is strong scandinavian heritage/vibe in Seattle). It will be interesting to see if Portland and/or Vancouver follow suit with well-timed, well-reasoned signings. From a playing standpoint, between flopping he still showed the ability to steer Seattle out of trouble in Year One with deft passing and controlling play.


  • Mike G

    As a Fire fan, I thank Freddie for his commitment to the club and trying to produce whenever he was on the field.

    The guy was no more a faker or complainer than Blanco, but like Cuauh Ljungberg actually showed that he cared when he was on the field.

    Castillo has proven to be a nothing more than a less successful Landin thus far. It will be an interesting season for Chicago.


  • CA

    He’s a fine footballer who still has some left in the tank. A friend of mine said it well; “he’d be very effective if he wasn’t the best player on the team.” I think Ljungberg needs to be surrounded with other quality players who can play the possession game he played in Europe. Good luck to him.


  • Derek Young

    I’ll be glad to see the end of the Ljungberg bashing. I wasn’t his biggest fan while he was in Seattle, and his attitude often stunk, but his effort was great and he basically dragged SSFC into the playoffs last year… for that I appreciate him coming here.

    Even if he’s going to play for evil of evils.


  • steve

    mostly classy guy but a FREAKIN PRIMA DONA good by and good riddance. i like what seattle and rsl have done get a solid good player and watch him grow in this league and then dp him. i am sick of self absorbed underwear models ( yeah u too d becks) threatening to go on loan whining and moaning just shut up and perform now i can only hope nery castillo leaves the fire. the fire need to go the marco pappa route watch him blossom then dp him no more crybabies


  • C-note

    I hope he has success with the new club, and at least the Fire keeps its 1st round pick. Even if he stayed, Chicago is still rebuilding and we might as well go for a younger player, from the draft. I’m more comfortable with Calen Carr
    getting minutes, over Nery Castillo.


  • yes

    Actually, he had alot of nice things to say about country, the fans, and the skill level. His only complaint was the refs, which he certainly complained about, but it’s not like he hated his time here.


  • GW

    “Ljungberg’s move to Celtic is important in that it shows joining MLS doesn’t necessarily spell the end of a top player’s career. ”

    That depends on how you view the SPL.

    Celtic are,of course, a big name club. But the SPL ,well, UEFA has a coefficient where they they rank the countries leagues for seeding purposes of their various competions ( Champions league ,Europa, etc.).

    Not everyone likes rankings of course but it’s interesting that Scotland is ranked below countries featuring the likes of Sacha and Benny (for now anyway)in their leagues.

    10 Turkey

    11 Greece

    12 Denmark

    13 Belgium

    14 Romania

    15 Scotland

    16 Switzerland

    17 Israel

    18 Austria

    19 Czech Republic

    It would be interesting where MLS would fit in here.


  • r.benjamin

    This is what I was thinking. Has there been an MLS player that moved to a bigger club?

    You have to chalk it to advancement that a player crossed the pond, played and went back to a “top” team.

    It will be interesting how his playing time and ability compares to his recent form with Chi..


  • Fred Garvin

    Look at all the whiners on this thread.

    FL helped Seattle out it its first year.. Good luck to you at Celtic. You missed it.. now you’ve got it.


  • Jeremy

    “Bigger” club off hand T howard to Man U. “better” club than Celtic there are many in my book, Fulham, Aston Villa, Villareal, top of mind.

    I think he might be the only big Euro player to return to Europe not on loan though.


  • JFC

    regardless what team he played for and what he contributed to the MLS it is always a pleasure to watch a player that i watched in the EPL. ask me 6 years ago if i would ever see freddie or henry play in person and i would say your crazy. good luck FL and maybe we’ll play celtic again for the all star game.


  • Warren

    Exactly, that’s the problem with expecting the DP guys to look fantastic in MLS – yeah they’re a little bit older, but the talent around them…isn’t up to their standard, on average.

    But, bit by bit the league’s quality of play is improving, and gaining a bit more Euro respect eg Buddle & Cunningham trialing in EPL right now, Tottenham trying to lure MLS ‘flop’ Beckham to a top 5 EPL team…


  • http://www.datecover.com

    What a JOKE! Freddie is a great player, but we just could not keep up with him at MLS. Freddie is about technique, and playing off the team. When your team stands still and waits for the ball to be past, its frustraiting. I’m not suprised he left. It’s the loss of the MLS.


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