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Seattle to Sweden

Adam Johansson signed with the Sounders FC this season, with hopes that he could still compete to make the Swedish National Team.

When Adam Johansson signed with the Sounders FC this season, it was his hope that he could add to his 11 appearances with the Swedish National Team.

He joined the team during training camp after playing two friendlies in Qatar, but injuries have kept him from contending for playing time with Sweden, even as they took part in the European Championships in June.

Now, though, they are gearing up for 2014 World Cup qualifiers and Johansson is back in the mix as they take on Kazakhstan on September 11 in Malmo, Sweden.

“I would say it was a bit of a surprise,” Johansson said.  “We had been in contact, but it was a surprise.”

Things got off to a slow start for Johansson in Seattle when a hamstring injury knocked him out of action after the first game of the season.  He would miss the next four matches and split time with Zach Scott over the next four matches before resuming the full-time starting role.  Another injury kept him out of the lineup for four more games.  He has since missed just one start while head coach Sigi Schmid eased him back into the lineup and has been back to form for the Sounders as an attacking right back.

Now fully entrenched in the role that he was brought to Seattle to play, he is also back in the spotlight for Sweden, encouraging the 29-year-old Johansson that he made the right decision coming to the Sounders.

“I feel like it’s a step up for me in my career,” he said.  “I feel like I’ve been getting more and more into it in the last couple of months and it feels great to be here.”

Johansson will be available for Schmid on Sunday against FC Dallas, then will fly to Sweden after the match for the tilt with Kazakhstan and rejoin the team after the September 11 qualifier.

Similarly, midfielder Mario Martinez will join the Honduras National Team for World Cup qualifiers against Cuba on September 7 and 11, first playing in Havana, Cuba, then in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for the return leg.

While away, Johansson and Martinez will miss Seattle’s match against Chivas USA on September 8, but are expected back for the road match against the Portland Timbers on September 15.