MLS: Who Won The Eddie Johnson Trade?
It’s been known for a while now that Eddie Johnson would be on the move after publicly expressing his desire to obtain a raise from his former club, Seattle Sounders FC. With the Sounders having very little room against the salary cap and having all three designated players positions filled, the writing was on the wall for Johnson.
It was announced on Tuesday that the Sounders traded Johnson to DC United for allocation money; the amount of which was not announced due to MLS policy. It is a great deal for both clubs, though as of now, it is difficult to be able to declare a winner for this trade.
For DC United, they get a proven goalscorer in Johnson; He has scored 23 goals in 49 MLS appearances since returning to the league in 2011. In 2013, the leading goalscorer for United had three goals while Johnson had three in the entire month of August.
This move is another great move made by the DC United front office this offseason in preparation for not only the 2014 MLS Season, but also to help United’s chances in the 2014 CONCACAF Champions League, which they qualified for by winning the US Open Cup this past season. United had also brought in Davy Arnaud via trade from Montreal Impact, as well as Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell via the MLS Re-Entry Draft. These four acquisitions will surely bring DC United into the playoff chase.
From the Seattle perspective, it will be interesting to see what the next step is in this offseason of change. General manager Adrian Hanauer referred to the amount of allocation money received as “a large amount that could help accommodate one or two more major signings.”
Looking at the Sounders’ roster right now, if they were looking for two more major signings, it looks as if they would be looking at another outside midfield-type player to play opposite Brad Evans and possibly another central defender to play along Chad Marshall. Hanauer also said today that the club was close to an extension with backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, as well as near terms with new forwards Kenny Cooper and Tristan Bowen.
One of the other aspects that makes this trade very interesting for Seattle fans is that the Sounders also currently hold the No. 2 position in the allocation order, which gives them the right to sign returning US Men’s National Team players, or players who left the MLS for a transfer fee. With the amount of allocation money currently stockpiled and that spot in the allocation order, the Sounders may be able to make a pretty good splash to upgrade their roster.