Sounders' Ljungberg says he'll fulfill contract
REDMOND, Wash. -- Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg reiterated his commitment to the MLS on Thursday, just two days before playing against a former English Premier League foe Chelsea.
The Seattle Sounders FC midfielder dispelled rumors that he might be looking to return to Europe, saying he's content playing in MLS and intends to honor his two-year contract.
"I will stay here. I like it in Seattle," Ljungberg said after the Sounders wrapped up practice Thursday at Microsoft Corp. headquarters. "I just want to say that there may be rumors and stuff but I want to stay here and want to play, and let the fans and everyone know that I'm staying."
Earlier this week, reports surfaced in Europe that various teams were interested in Ljungberg, who previously starred for Arsenal and was captain of the Swedish national team.
Plagued with injury problems his final few years in England, Ljungberg has put those questions aside with a strong start in his first MLS season. He's played in 13 of 17 matches, scoring twice and assisting on five other goals. Despite missing four games, he was named to the MLS All-Star team that will face Everton FC later this month.
There even have been rumblings of Ljungberg and Seattle's other All-Star, goalkeeper Kasey Keller, potentially being open to contract extensions beyond 2010.
Ljungberg's contract pays him $1.3 million per season, easily Seattle's highest paid player and the fourth highest in the league behind Los Angeles' David Beckham, Chicago's Cuauhtemoc Blanco and New York's Juan Pablo Angel.