SEATTLE – Sounders star Freddie Ljungberg will train away from the team as he continues to entertain other playing options outside of Seattle, according to club officials.
As expected, Ljungberg will not play Sunday night when the Sounders host the Colorado Rapids at Qwest Field in a nationally televised matchup on Fox Soccer Channel.
“At this time he is training by himself, getting healthy, getting fit,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “We agreed together that it made some sense to keep him away from the club as he is exploring other options. I don’t think there’s a secret that that’s happening.
“We just thought it was best to keep this team focused right here on winning on Sunday [and] let Freddie explore options.”
Going forward, Hanauer is taking a wait-and-see approach to a possible transfer.
“As that process plays out, we will take things as they come to us,” Hanauer said. “Again, assuming something does or doesn’t happen in the next week or few days or two weeks, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said that the decision to train away from the team will help Ljungberg recover from a nagging ankle injury that has limited him in recent weeks. He hasn't suited up for the club since a July 4 matchup against the LA Galaxy.
“The decision was it would probably be best right now to get his injury cured up and his ankle, which is doing much better,” Schmid said, “and while he is exploring those options, to keep him out of our training during that period of time so that he can explore those options.
“There wasn’t a risk; obviously in training with a team there’s always a greater risk of injury,” Schmid continued. “There’s not a risk of injury [training away from the team] or a risk of making the injury worse.”
Ljungberg, meanwhile, updated his blog Friday with a thank-you message to his teammates and Sounders fans.
“I felt I wanted to say something,” the post reads. “When I’ve been out and about in the city, the enormous support and appreciation I’ve got from people on the street has touched me deeply. So I just wanted to say a humble thank you to all the people of Seattle and to my teammates who have shown me so much love during this time with a million people speculating.”