RENTON, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC has traded for U.S. international forward Eddie Johnson, the club announced today. Johnson was selected by the Montreal Impact today with the No. 1 pick in Major League Soccer’s allocation process.
In exchange, Seattle sent forward Mike Fucito and midfielder Lamar Neagle to Montreal.
Johnson, 27, signed with MLS earlier this week after spending much of the past five years with Fulham of the English Premier League.
“Eddie is a high quality striker who is a very good finisher,” said Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson, who coached Johnson at Kansas City. “We are very excited to have him join Sounders FC in our quest for another successful season.”
A member of the U.S. National Team since scoring in his debut in October 2004, Johnson has made 41 appearances with 12 goals for the senior team. He has scored eight goals in only nine FIFA World Cup qualifying appearances, and is the only U.S. player to score a hat trick coming off the bench (October 13, 2004).
Johnson became the first player in national team history to score in each of his first four appearances, three of which were 2006 World Cup qualifying matches. He is one of the most prolific scorers in U.S. Youth National Team history, tallying 37 career goals in 51 international youth games with the U-17s, U-20s and U-23s.
“It’s always difficult to part ways with two quality individuals who have contributed greatly to the success of our first three years,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We saw this as a unique opportunity to bring a player in with World Cup experience who can help us in our quest to win the MLS Cup.”
A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., Johnson returns to MLS where he began his professional career. He played four seasons for FC Dallas before joining Kansas City for two seasons, scoring 41 goals with 13 assists in 127 MLS appearances.
The six-foot forward spent four seasons with Fulham, signing with the EPL side in 2007. He made 19 appearances with the senior team. Johnson was loaned to English League Championship side Cardiff City for the 2008-09 season where he appeared in 30 games and scored two goals. In 2009 he was loaned to Aris of the Greek Super League, appearing in 12 games with one goal. Johnson’s stint in Europe ended with a loan to Championship side Preston North End where he scored one goal in 16 appearances.
Johnson will join the team on Saturday in Florida.
Fucito, 25, was selected by Seattle in the fourth round (46th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. In his three seasons with Sounders FC, he scored three goals with two assists in 23 appearances. Fucito added five goals with one assist in the 2010 and 2011 CONCACAF Champions League and also scored two goals in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Neagle, 24, was signed by Sounders FC on March 2, 2011. A native of Federal Way, Wash. he scored five goals with two assists in 23 league appearances in 2011, and added a goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Neagle was named MLS Player of the Week in August for his hat trick against the Columbus Crew.
Sounders FC hosts Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on March 7. Seattle opens MLS play on March 17 against Toronto FC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Traded FW Mike Fucito and MF Lamar Neagle to Montreal Impact for FW Eddie Johnson
Birthplace (citizenship): Daytona Beach, Florida (United States)
Hometown: Dayton Beach, Florida
Previous Clubs: FC Dallas (2000-2005), Kansas City (2006-2007), Fulham (2007-2011; loan to Cardiff City, 2008-2009; loan to Aris, 2010; loan to Preston North End, 2011)