Friday, February 17, 2012

Sounders make a suprise move: Acquire Eddie Johnson from Montreal for Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle

By Money Mike

Well I don't think this was in anybodys mind. We already knew this guy signed with MLS, but none of us tought that he would end up here in Seattle, but it turns out to be the case. Earlier this afternoon, the Seattle Sounders have acquired U.S. veteran Eddie Johnson from the Montreal Impact. In exchange, the Sounders have traded Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Expansion Side. This move was made about an hour after Johnson was acquired by the Montreal Impact through the Allocation process. Johnson joins the Rave Green shortly after his contract with Mexican club Puebla was cancelled due to his low fitness levels.

Johnson began his professional career with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) in 2001 and he was inconsistant at the start of his career, scoring only seven goals in 43 matches. In 2004, he had a breakout year making 26 appearances for Dallas, scoring 12 goals and setting up three others. In 2005 however, Eddie Johnson suffered a foot injury and he didn't make much of an impact with Dallas since then. In 2006, Johnson was traded to the Kansas City Wizards and it didn't start out the way he would've wanted to, scoring only twice in 19 appearances. In 2007, Johnson returned to form and had a career year, scoring 15 goals in 24 appearances with the Wizards. In 2008, Johnson left Kansas City to join Premier League club Fulham and since then, this guy has basically disappeared. His time with Fulham has been unsuccessful, he was loaned out to three clubs and had unsuccessful stints with them. In order, 18 appearances and no goals with Fulham, 30 appearances and two goals with Cardiff City, 16 appearances and five goals with Aris Thessaloniki and 16 appearances and no goals for Preston North End. On December 22, 2011, Johnson agreed to join fellow American teammate DaMarcus Beasley at Puebla F.C. However, Johnson was released just days after signing with the club.

Going into the 2011 season, Fucito was recovering from a foot injury and Neagle, who didn't make a single appearances during his first stint with the Sounders in 2009, re-joined the club on trial after spending 2010 with USL club Charleston Battery and IFK Mariehamm in Finland. These two weren't expected to do much during the 2011 season, but after Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White suffered injuries that kept them out for the rest of the season, both Neagle and Fucito stepped up and made a huge impact. Fucito made 19 appearances and scored two goals and Lamar Neagle finished with 23 appearances and five goals including a hat-trick in a 6-2 beatdown of the Columbus Crew.

Thoughts on this move:

I'm really shocked about this move. I'm not going to tell you guys whether or not I think this is a good trade. Eddie Johnson's had his ups and downs during his career. Lately his fitness levels have been down. Adrian Hanauer and Chris Henderson must have a reason that we don't know about for acquiring Eddie Johnson. If Johnson stays healthy, I think he'll have a pretty good season. Right now, I'm just going to keep my opinion to myself and wait and see what happens.

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