As implied in the posts below, the 24-hour mystery about Sounders designated player Freddie Ljungberg is over. He'll be in camp Monday.
Any ideas to the contrary were part of a misunderstanding that arose from a conversation that general manager Adrian Hanauer had yesterday with Claes Elefalk, Ljungberg’s agent.
“Claes thought that he was communicating 100 percent that Freddie would be here next week,” Hanauer said today. “I didn’t quite hear that -- a bit of a miscommunication. Freddie certainly thought that he had communicated to his representation that he would be here first thing Monday morning, (and) the reality is that he will be here first thing Monday morning. And we’re very happy about that.”
Hanauer acknowledged that the club’s preference would have been for Ljungberg to report with his teammates this week. And he didn’t rule out a fine for Ljungberg’s delay. However, his primary message was happiness that the club’s highest-paid player will be in camp soon.
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And that outlook was echoed by coach Sigi Schmid.
“I’m looking forward to Freddie coming in,” Schmid said. “I’m glad that all of this is behind us. We’re just looking at moving forward and making sure that we’re a better team than we were last year. … Obviously, he will have missed a week. But this is a relatively easy week, not one where we’re pushing fitness. I think he should be pretty much close to the level of the other guys.”
Meanwhile, 2009 Sounders defender of the year Tyrone Marshall is leaving camp with the club's blessing -- heading to join the Jamaica national team for its Sunday friendly with Canada.
Marshall has 68 appearances with the national team, and last wore his nation’s colors in the 2009 Gold Cup.
“I’m always glad for the opportunity to represent your country,” he said today. “It’s always an honor, and it speaks well that you’ve been doing your work. It’s always the best players that are called in to the national program, so once you get the opportunity to go it’s always an honor and a thrill.”
Marshall is expected back Monday, and Schmid said he doesn’t think Marshall or the Sounders will be harmed by him missing three training sessions.
“I know Tyrone is getting at an age where his national team career is probably slowly coming to a close,” Schmid said. “So now it’s a matter of his participating in this game. He’s like to participate, and he doesn’t miss anything from us in terms of any games and so forth, so it makes sense.”
Marshall's scheduled return could bring him back at a time when there is no camp to return to ... if the collective bargaining agreement runs out Sunday and is followed by an immediate work stoppage. However, Marshall saw little reason to worry about that now.
"We just have to go with the flow," he said. "If it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I just have to prepare myself like I’m coming to work. Hopefully when I get back from the national team everything will be intact and we’re ready to go. That’s what we want. We want to get the season going. I’m really excited to go with the national team, and I’ll be excited to be back as well."