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August 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Former Sounders star Freddie Ljungberg retires (Friday links)

ljungberg retire.jpgPhoto credit: Elaine Thompson, AP

News has come out this morning that former Sounders FC designated player Freddie Ljungberg, the team’s first DP, has retired.

The former Arsenal and Swedish national star played a big part in the fast start of Seattle’s MLS franchise, both on and off the field, but things eventually turned sour and he was traded to Chicago midway through the 2010 season for what turned out to be a second-round draft pick.

Ljungberg, 35, was named to the MLS Best XI in 2009 and had most recently played for Japan’s Shimizu S-Pulse. Any memories stand out for you?

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Some Sounders Women learned their Women’s Champions League opponent in the Round of 32 while playing abroad.

— Also, Sounders homegrown products litter this list of players to watch and another, goalkeeper Paul Christensen, has been called into U.S. U-17 camp. Here’s another list of top college players to watch with the season about underway.

— Here’s a story on the team website on the Sounders participating in a charity golf tournament (lots of pictures included).

— Around the league, former FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja has signed with MLS and will go through the allocation process. New England is No. 1 in the order and it sounds like several teams are interested. Elsewhere, San Jose has a stadium announcement coming Saturday, New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara underwent surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season, and former fan favorite Mike Fucito took some questions from Timbers fans.

— Also, there’s a new MLS column on Grantland, the Galaxy won a wild CCL game against Metapan, here’s a look back of that big trade for the Earthquakes, and here are some numbers from Chivas USA previewing Saturday’s game.

— Looks like BeIN Sport, which has the broadcast rights for the USMNT’s road qualifiers, has worked out a deal with Comcast.

— Like clockwork, here’s your daily Clint Dempsey watch from ProSoccerTalk.

— Lastly, here’s a small sampling of honeymoon pictures if you’re so inclined.

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