Home > Soccer, Sport News > Swedish vet Ljungberg signs deal with Celtic

Swedish vet Ljungberg signs deal with Celtic

The Fire lost another star player Thursday when
Freddie Ljungberg agreed to terms with Glasgow Celtic of the Scottish
Premier League.
Ljungberg, who had been negotiating with several
European teams since the Fire season ended in October, trained with
Celtic this week and watched the club take over the SPL lead Wednesday
with a victory over Motherwell.
He passed his medical exam Thursday, and Celtic announced he’ll be available for the game Sunday against Rangers.
“While Freddie’s time with the Fire was brief, he
made an immediate impact on and off the field, and we wish him the very
best with Celtic,” Fire technical director Frank Klopas said. “He’s a
gifted player and natural leader who quickly gained the respect of his
teammates, Fire staff and our fans.”
Klopas acquired Ljungberg, 33, from the Seattle
Sounders at midseason. Ljungberg, former captain of Sweden’s national
team and a longtime star for Arsenal in the English Premier League,
became the first designated player in Major League Soccer to be traded
when the Fire obtained him from Seattle. With Ljungberg unhappy in
Seattle, the Fire got him for only a conditional draft selection.
After helping the expansion Sounders qualify for
the MLS playoffs in 2009, Ljungberg had two goals and seven assists in
15 games for the Fire, which finished with a 9-12-9 record and missed
the playoffs for only the second time in 13 seasons.
“I want to say that I had an amazing time in
Chicago, and I really mean that,’’ Ljungberg said. ‘‘The city was great
and so were the people, who I felt embraced me in a great way. I built
a strong relationship with the fans, and that was something that always
meant a lot to me.”
Klopas’ rebuilding task only got bigger with
Ljungberg’s departure. The Fire already had lost Brian McBride and C.J.
Brown to retirement, and Wilman Conde jumped to Atlas of the Mexican
league after his contract with the Fire expired. In addition, the Fire
lost John Thorrington and Peter Lowry in the expansion draft and
released Collins John and Krzysztof Krol.
Categories: Soccer, Sport News
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