Adam Johansson hasn’t yet found a place to hang his hat in Seattle. He came to Seattle only briefly before leaving on the nearly month-long venture to Arizona, Florida and Mexico for preseason training and has only recently been able to start looking for a place to call home while he plays for the Sounders FC.
On the field, it’s a completely different story.
The Sounders FC’s new addition at right back has made a seamless transition into a team that is preparing for a game of tremendous magnitude in the quarterfinal meeting of the CONCACAF Champions League against Santos Laguna, beginning Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.
“The last couple of weeks, it’s been feeling really good. I know all the players and how they move and how they play. I think I’m improving every week,” Johansson said. “It’s a great group - a lot of great players and good personalities. It’s really easy.”
A veteran of 129 matches with IFK Goteborg and 66 with Vastro Frolunda, Johansson has played professionally in his hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden for his whole career.
So the transition off the field may be just as important as how he does on the training grounds every day. His early showing on the field have made everything else a lot easier though.
And as was evidenced in Seattle’s 2-0 win over Jaguraes de Chiapas on Wednesday, he is not just blending, but excelling on the field.
“He fits in well. He’s a great pro. He takes care of himself really well and he’s always prepared,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “When he gets into the final third, stuff happens.”
His strength isn’t limited to the attack, either.
In 314 minutes of preseason action, the Sounders have allowed just three goals with Johansson on the field. In the most important match of the preseason, against Jaguares, he limited the opposition’s ability to play up the left side throughout the match.
“His 1v1 defending was good,” Schmid said. “Picking and choosing your moments is important, especially against a team like Santos. You have to be aware of the counter. I think he’s clever enough and smart enough that he’ll be able to figure out that part.”
Already, the club is showing to be better with him on the field.
Johansson sees it too. When he decided to sign with Seattle, he started watching DVDs of the club’s matches to prepare for his new team.
Through training camp, he’s already seen a different team than the one on the DVDs and he likes what he is seeing.
“We possess the ball better than what I saw. We play from the back a bit better,” he said. “We are a really good team. We can possess the ball and I think we can win almost every game. I think we are good enough to beat everyone.”