ljungberg-fredrik-cp-081028

Fredrik Ljungberg signs Tuesday with the Seattle Sounders. ((Elaine Thompson/Associated Press))

Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg signed Tuesday with the expansion Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.

Ljungberg, 31, reportedly received a two-year, $5-million US contract from the Sounders. 

"Seattle is a great city," he said. "I know this part of the world quite well.

"The club itself has such great ambition and the fans over here are very passionate about their team."

"We looked far and wide for a designated player who would represent the spirit of our team," Sounders owner Joe Roth said in a statement.

"In Freddie Ljungberg, we found it. A proven international star at Arsenal and captain of the Swedish national team, Freddie is the exciting, creative force we need and we are sure the Seattle fans are in for a great treat."

Ljungberg had sat idle since August, when he negotiated a buyout of the four-year contract he signed with West Ham United of the English Premier League on July 23, 2007.

After scoring 46 goals in 216 appearances with Arsenal, he tallied just twice in 25 matches with West Ham.

"Fortunately, I had many opportunities and offers from around Europe and the rest of the world during the last few months, including Seattle to play in MLS," Ljungberg said. "After thoughtful consideration, I decided this opportunity with Seattle was the right one for me."

Ljungberg entered the pro ranks as a midfielder with Halmstads BK of the Allsvenskan.

He retired from international soccer on June 27, having earned 75 caps with Sweden.

With files from the Associated Press