Eddie Johnson will attempt to resurrect his once-luminous career with the Seattle Sounders.
First in the MLS allocation order, the expansion Montreal Impact selected the 27-year-old forward and then traded him to the Sounders for forward Mike Fucito, 25, and midfielder Lamar Neagle, 24. Johnson will count $100,000 toward the salary cap, I’m told.
“We have made our team much stronger today,” Impact Coach Jesse Marsch said. “Mike Fucito is a dynamic and talented young forward who we believe is on the verge of having a great year and establishing himself as a very good forward in MLS. Lamar Neagle is a player who is a very good offensive threat from wide positions and has also shown that he can score goals.”
Montreal falls to the back of the allocation list for future procedures involving U.S. national team players signing with MLS. The Colorado Rapids appeared to be the front-runner to land Johnson before the Sounders completed the trade.
Johnson returns to MLS after four unproductive years in Europe. Under contract with Fulham but unable to secure regular playing time, he went on loan to Cardiff City, Aris and Preston North End.
Last year he was on the verge of returning to MLS but walked away from a tentative deal and ended up joining Mexican club Puebla, which quickly dropped him for fitness reasons. Since then, he has been training at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.
Johnson rose through the under-17 residency program at Bradenton and turned pro at age 16. He played five seasons for FC Dallas and two with Kansas City, scoring 41 goals.
On the international level, after rocketing to prominence with the under-17 and under-20 national teams, he scored in his senior debut against El Salvador in 2004 and posted a hat trick three days later against Panama at RFK Stadium. In all, he scored seven times in 2006 World Cup qualifiers and ended up making two appearances at the World Cup in Germany.
But as Johnson’s club career faded, his U.S. outlook did as well. He made one start in 2009-10 and had no appearances last year. His most recent U.S. goal was in 2008 against Barbados in a 2010 qualifier.