Eddie Johnson (Photo courtesy of Seattle Sounders)
In just his first preseason match on Sunday, Eddie Johnson showed why the Seattle Sounders were willing to make an aggressive move to acquire him and why that move carries some risk. The 27-year-old forward scored one goal, on a left-footed shot from distance (highlight after jump), and helped contribute to two others during the Sounders' 5-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast University. But he also came off the field after the third goal clutching his hamstring, cutting his day just a little short.
Although the injury was reportedly not very serious, it did serve as a reminder that Johnson is, at the very least, clearly not fit to be playing 90 minutes in the immediate future.
"We only wanted to get 30 minutes out of him," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "Obviously it's been a while since he's played so he needs to get fit and we've got to now be careful with him. I don't think our fans can view it as, 'OK, now he's going to start against Santos Laguna and play 90 minutes,' because that's probably not a realistic goal. I think he will have an impact on that series, but we have to decide how that's going to be.
"Now the concern is just that we build his fitness up appropriately and don't come to a period of time where he's going to get heavy legs, as well."
Johnson was replaced by Sammy Ochoa in the lineup and played the final 61 minutes of the match. David Estrada was the other forward for the first 47 minutes of the match and was eventually replaced by Babayele Sodade. Estrada scored a goal and Sodade supplied pressure on the Sounders' fifth goal, which was an own goal. Christian Sivebaek converted a penalty and an unnamed trialist scored the other goal.