Following transfer rumors can be quite the roller-coaster. One minute, your team is linked to an intriguing prospect. The next they’re going somewhere else. Sometimes those rumors actually lead to something. It takes a discerning eye to figure out which to put stock in, but my hope is that Sounder at Heart readers have come to trust the way we share them. The biggest is that we always try to give as much relevant context as possible, and do our best to point you in the direction we think it’s going.
What doesn’t happen very often is discovering that we are actually the source of a rumor. It’s impossible to know for sure, but there’s a very good chance that’s exactly what happened this week when the Seattle Sounders were linked to former USMNT forward Aaron Johannsson.
Let’s walk through it:
June 20: With news that Will Bruin was done for the year, I wrote a piece outlining several options for replacing him. In addition to the relatively straight-forward and, frankly, likely scenario that one of Alphonso Ocampo-Chavez or Justin Dhillon would likely get a chance with the First Team. I also speculated that Americans playing abroad could be a more robust option, naming Johannsson as one such player.
June 24: Deich Stube, which appears to be a Werder Bremen fan site, writes a post seeming to suggest that Johannsson is potentially joining the Sounders. There’s no source or even a hint where that bit of information comes from.
June 25 at 3:17 a.m.: The morning after Deich Stube’s post, Soccer by Ives aggregates it for English-speaking audiences. They don’t offer any new information, but they do inject the story into the American soccersphere. Soccer Twitter isn’t quite buying it.
A report out of Germany has linked #USMMT eligible winger Aron Johannsson with the Seattle Sounders. His contract with Werder Bremen expires on June 30th.— Larry Henry Jr (@lhenry019) June 24, 2019
June 25 at 9:03 a.m.: About six hours after SBI’s post, esteemed ESPN soccer writer Jeffrey Carlisle follows up with a tweet acknowledging what many of us expected.
Multiple sources tell me that Aron Johannsson is not headed to #SoundersFC. One source went so far as to tell me that Johannsson “will not move to MLS in this window.” https://t.co/Z4i2s9SI5K— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) June 25, 2019
June 25, 11:05 a.m.: Just for good measure, I do a bit of my own work and ask for a comment from the Sounders. “There is nothing to this,” is their response.
I tend to think that astute readers of this website saw the clues — that the German rumor was unsourced and that the SBI story didn’t actually offer any new information — and knew there wasn’t much to this. Armed with the knowledge that this likely started with a story here, at least made it fun to watch unfold.