However, Keller mostly stayed clear of commenting to today's news that the club has given Ljungberg permission to seek another deal with another team:
"That’s a coaching and a management issue," he said. "Freddie’s our teammate and we support what he needs to do. If there’s any other question it’s toward Adrian or Sigi I think."
When it was suggested that Keller was the appropriate person to talk about that "public bump" at the start of camp, he disputed the notion.
"I had no 'public bump,'" he said. "All I said what that players regardless of whatever, we’re supposed to be at a certain place at a certain time. That’s all I said: never mentioned Freddie, never mentioned anybody. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was me, Freddie or Montero, Jaqua or whoever. If you’re supposed to be somewhere you’re supposed to be somewhere. We all know that. You have to do it in your job, I have to do it in my job. So, nothing more than that."
Sounders technical director Chris Henderson didn't fully dismiss the incident as a possible moment when the Ljungberg marriage started to go bad. But he didn't seem to see it as a major smoking gun, either.
"It could be. It could be that there are little pieces of these things that come out of that," he said. "But most of these guys – and I was a player – when you walk out you’re focused on 'I’ve got to play Saturday.' As a player you’re focused on your career and how you can help the team win. Now we have Blaise come in and maybe this is a different chemistry mix. It’s the smallest things between wins and losses."
Ljungberg, however, clearly took note of Keller's comments at the time, as evidenced by this exchange in our follow-up story:
“I heard someone talk about it,” Ljungberg said. “For me personally that’s to be taken internally, and that’s disappointing someone talking like that. But I solved it this morning as well, so we’re all on the same page.”
Keller called the conversation private. And coach Sigi Schmid seemed happy to leave it that way.
“I heard (Keller) and Freddie talked about it,” Schmid said. “It’s a private thing between them. I didn’t notice anything (on the pitch), and if we do, we’ll address it.”