As the Seattle Sounders get ready to play the Montreal Impact on Saturday, now seems as good a time as any to look back at the trade that put Eddie Johnson in Rave Green. In talking to Adrian Hanauer earlier this week for a story I did at MLSsoccer.com, he didn't hesitate for a second in telling me that he'd do the trade again given what he knows now.
Personally, I think it's easy to see why. While Johnson has not yet found the kind of consistency that would make this an absolute home run, he has shown flashes of the form that made him attractive to Fulham way back in 2007. He's doing this while making a surprisingly reasonable salary of about $100,000 this year.
As Hanauer said in the article, the move was about getting the Sounders closer to winning a MLS Cup and adding a veteran striker with international experience seemed to be a step in that direction.
There were two big concerns at the time of the trade: that Johnson had simply lost "it" and was damaged goods. I think we've seen enough positives from him to suggest he's still at least capable of being a very good MLS player and he's managed to stay at least reasonably healthy.
That's not to say Johnson's time with the Sounders has been without foibles. His Twitter account (since abandoned) did him no favors with fans and his penchant for step-overs has grown tiresome for many observers. Beyond that, he has gone down a bit easy at times and clearly hasn't developed the kind rapport with Fredy Montero that all parties are hoping to eventually see.
It's more than a little notable that neither Lamar Neagle nor Mike Fucito have exactly lit up the stat sheets since leaving. Neagle only has a pair of assists in about 500 minutes with the Impact and Fucito has already been dealt after rarely playing in Montreal.
I put it to you then: Given everything we know now (and I realize this was impossible at the time) would you make this trade today?