Everyone else, including Fredy Montero, was present for the start of camp today at Starfire.
Three top stories of the day:
1. No Ljungberg. He faces a fine from the team, coach Sigi Schmid said, and it is NOT OK that the designated player is not with his team. “He’s looking at options in Europe and as a club, we’ve talked and we’ve considered those options. As of yet, nothing has really happened so we expect him here. Exactly when the date is that he’s going to be here, I’m not exactly sure.”
Schmid said Ljungberg’s absence and any penalty from that will be handled internally as a club.
2. The CBA talks loom over the the start of camp, as nothing has been resolved between the league and the players union.
“We’re proceeding as we’ve planned and if something changes there then we’ll make alternate arrangements and alternate plans as we need to,” Schmid said.
Defender James Riley said both sides are working dilligently to get it done, and he is optimistic that something will get done before the deadline. But a lockout would be detrimental to the league, Riley said, given soccer’s lower status in the sports landscape in the U.S.
3. Montero is putting Sounders FC first though he is flattered by the attention he’s getting from clubs in Turkey and Russia. He said he feels the love from this city and has moved his family here, but improving and moving forward is a goal of his, and if he gets an opportunity in Europe he will welcome it. If not, he feels quite happy here and ready to go with Sounders FC.
My thought on Montero – He asked me about the CONCACAF Champions League after being interviewed, and I got the sense that such a big time tournament and the chance to play in it is impressive to him and that it could be a factor in him staying in Seattle.