Freddie Ljungberg worked with the Sounders for the first time today, although he was held out of 11-v.-11 work. (Here's my story from the Tuesday paper.)
He also met with the media after -- my first time meeting him -- and he seems like a really good guy.
A few highlights:
on the cold temperatures: Sweden is colder. But I was hoping it would be warmer.
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On today's training: It felt great. It's nice to see the boys. They've been out traveling a bit so it's nice that at last they're here and we can start training. Personally I probably can do everything in training. We just want to be careful in the beginning here, so I didn't play the 11-against-11, but I did everything else and it felt great.
I'm going to double-up. When the boys are off in the afternoon, I'm going to have fitness sessions in the afternoon. That's how I'm going to do it normally probably: I'll join in the full session then I will do some more training afterwards and then I'll have one in the afternoons.
On when he'll play in a game: We don't want to put pressure on exactly what date it is, but it feels great and there's nothing that I can't do, so it's all good.
I'm so much ahead of schedule, that it looks – not scared, but it looks a bit almost too good to be true. We're scared if I do too much I'll have a setback, but I can't get any pain in anything I do, which is great. That's why they want to take it step by step all the time. But what I got from London and Sweden the restriction is I can do whatever I want on the pitch, but they want me still to correctly build it up. But what I want to do maybe the next two weeks is train really really hard. I've already been training and running for three weeks, so I've been doing quite a bit of physical work. But to do two weeks more really hard – almost like a bit of a preseason thing – and then I can ease off a bit and just do the technical stuff on the pitch.
On getting to know his teammates: It doesn't take that long. Normally, you play in England and stuff they have a rotation system on the big clubs so you can get people in and out if they're tired. That is not a big issue. To be perfect, like we say in England, you want to play with the same team the whole year, and then you will know each other. But there are injuries and stuff, so you can never be perfect.
On his first-impressions from today: They were very concentrated, I must say that. The warm-up I joined to begin was the most concentrated warm-up I've ever been in. In Europe they joke and have a laugh and stuff. They seem to be focused, and I think that's a very good thing.