Spend a few minutes with Jonathan Campbell and it’s surprising to find out he’s only lived in Seattle for less than a week.
The 25-year-old Seattle Sounders defender, who was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Fire earlier this month, has already visited Slate Coffee Roasters and Callus – two of the trendiest coffee shops in Pioneer Square. He signed a lease on an apartment near downtown and looks forward to taking his dog, Leo, on many Pacific Northwest adventures.
“Seattle has a lot more going on around the city with hikes and outdoorsy things, and that’s something I will end up loving,” said Campbell, who also lived in the area while playing for the Sounders U-23’s in 2015. “I will definitely find a good home in Seattle.”
He has some pretty good company at work, too. His center back colleagues include MLS stalwart Chad Marshall and internationals Román Torres and Kim Kee-hee. With 72 career MLS appearances in three seasons with the Fire, Campbell joins a group that was already considered one of the best defensive units in the league.
“Just how they interact and how they get things done with communication, that’s something I can definitely pick up on,” Campbell said. “I have some good leaders to look up to.”
Defender Jonathan Campbell defends Handwalla Bwana during Saturday's training session. Photo by Jonathan Griffith.
He also has one of his buddies from college on the squad, Jordan McCrary. They played together for four seasons at the University of North Carolina. In the 2016 MLS Draft, McCrary was drafted No. 10 overall and Campbell was selected two picks later. Now they’re reunited on the pro stage.
“Obviously we are very close,” Campbell said of McCrary. “Coming in and already having that connection is good. I love the way he plays – he’s really feisty, gets into tackles, and he’s a great locker room guy.”
As Campbell transitions to a new team for the first time in his career, he remains confident in the way he approaches the game: Calm, collected, organized and “let the playmakers make plays.”
With many coffee shops and adventures to come, Campbell has his priorities straight.
“My biggest goal is to be contenders for championships. MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield are the two biggest things on my mind.”