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Originally published July 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 30, 2009 at 12:38 AM

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Sounders FC star Freddie Ljungberg hospitalized after All-Star Game

Seattle star Freddie Ljungberg missed a deciding kick in the All-Star Game loss and then was hospitalized after the game with vision trouble from migraines.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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SANDY, Utah — Kasey Keller made light of his adventures in the net as Major League Soccer's All-Star goalkeeper Wednesday night, a game won by Everton of the English Premier League on penalty kicks. But his teammate, Freddie Ljungberg, wasn't around after the game to answer questions about the kick he missed that gave the win to Everton.

Ljungberg, Sounders FC's star midfielder and designated player, left Rio Tinto Stadium immediately after the All-Star Game, carted away complaining of loss of vision from the onset of a migraine. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

There was no further information available on Ljungberg's condition late Wednesday after the game, but he did not appear for reporters in the All-Stars' locker room. Ljungberg has had complications from migraines earlier this season, when he missed two games with debilitating migraines that sapped his strength and fitness.

Ljungberg played all 90 minutes of last night's match with temperatures in the 80s, and was the last shooter for MLS in penalty kicks. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard stopped Ljungberg's shot, which appeared to lack some zip and the Toffees won the game 1-1, 4-3 on penalties.

Keller's night was over as the second half got under way — so over that he was getting ready to do a live interview for ESPN from the bench.

Except the night just got more interesting for him. Thrust back into the match when second keeper Zach Thornton of Chivas USA injured his right thigh in the 60th minute, Keller had to finish.

He stayed in goal when the game, tied at 1 after regulation, went to penalty kicks to decide a winner.

Keller made one save in PKs, but his good buddy Howard made three to seal Everton's victory, the first time MLS has lost to a foreign club team in six All-Star matches against such teams.

"That was a little interesting," Keller said afterward. "For the majority of the game we were the better team and we had our chances ... and then yeah, penalties, whatever. You just have some fun I guess."

Keller and Howard, the past and present of U.S. national team goalkeepers, managed to keep the mood light during the shootout.

"Tim played great," Keller said. "Nothing more than to be expected. We were laughing back and forth.

"I was mad. I had Phil Neville's ball [the second Everton PK goal]. But other than that, it was fun," Keller added.

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Before it got to that point, Everton's Louis Saha took advantage of a mistake by Stuart Holden of the Houston Dynamo to score in the 12th minute. MLS tied the score with a goal by Brad Davis of the Houston Dynamo in the 26th minute.

Keller and teammates Fredy Montero and Ljungberg were in the starting lineup. Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was a substitute in the 64th minute for the MLS team.

Montero, a forward, got maybe a half dozen touches in the first half, none better than the shot he took in the 42nd minute. Montero bounced the ball with his right foot, forcing defender Leighton Baines off balance, and fired a low line drive toward Howard in the Toffees' goal. Howard had to lunge to the grass to make the save.

Ljungberg, the All-Star captain, didn't become a factor until the second half when he had a strong shot go wide in the 49th minute.

Keller made two saves in the first half before Thornton replaced him at halftime, and the MLS team missed two golden opportunities to go ahead late, one of those on a one-handed swat by Howard of a shot by Davy Arnaud of the Kansas City Wizards.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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