Sounders FC midfielder Freddie Ljungberg returned to the Seattle area Thursday after being released from a Utah hospital.
Ljungberg had been hospitalized after complaining of loss of vision and symptons of migraines Wednesday, immediately after the MLS All-Star game in Sandy, Utah.
“We hope he is OK,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “He went straight home, and we will see how he is. He is one of the few guys who played 90 minutes in a little bit of heat, a little bit of altitude. Again, we know what his diet requirements are and what he can and can’t eat. It is possible that there was a trace of something that he shouldn’t have in the food. That might have triggered it as well. But, it is not nearly what it was the last time and we expect him to be able to recover fairly quickly.”
Ljungberg had played the entire game, which began with the temperature hovering around 84 degrees. He also took the final penalty kick, which was knocked away by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, clinching the victory for the English Premier League team.
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Soon after, Ljungberg was taken from Rio Tinto Stadium on a cart. A spokesman for host team Real Salt Lake confirmed that Ljungberg was taken to a nearby hospital.
Ljungberg has a history of migraines and missed two games earlier this season because of the condition.
Meanwhile, back at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Ljungberg’s teammates began preparations for their return to league play Sunday at San Jose.
Ljungberg would have been ineligible for that game anyway, because he picked up a red card in the Sounders’ draw with Chicago last weekend.
However, midfielder Brad Evans has returned to the Sounders from U.S. national team duty. And All-Stars Kasey Keller, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Fredy Montero are expected to be ready to play.
Schmid said Montero had gone into the All-Star game with a minor injury, and his playing time was limited to 45 minutes at the request of the club.
Otherwise, Schmid said he thinks his team will gain more than it lost from time off during the break.
“Always when you come back from some days off it takes you a little bit of time to get in the rhythm,” he said. “But, what you are really looking for is the long-term aspect of it. Over the long-term and the length of the season, having these little physical breaks, these little mental health breaks to clear your mind and everything is a good thing. It will keep you fresh during an important part of the season when you need to be fresh.”
Rory Agu of the Tacoma Tide was one of 44 players named to the USL Premier Development Leagues’ All-Western Conference team. Players were selected by a vote of general managers and coaches from the PDL’s 68 teams. … The Sounders and the Washington Youth Soccer have announced that they will work together to expand the state’s youth soccer development system. In September, the MLS Youth Initiative program will create additional levels and paths to elite play for local soccer players. More information is available at www.wsysa.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808