A teleconference took place on Friday night in which newly acquired Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson participated alongside Sounders FC General Manager Adrian Hanauer, Head Coach Sigi Schmid and Technical Director Chris Henderson.
Johnson signed with MLS on February 17, 2012 and was selected on February 18, 2012 by Montreal Impact via allocation process. The Impact were top of the allocation list of sides with rights to incoming players.
He was immediately traded by Montreal to Sounders FC in exchange for Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle.
The loss of Neagle, a local boy from Federal Way WA, was received with widespread sadness by a large swathe of the Sounders fanbase, with initial reaction on chat boards proving hostile to the transaction.
Neagle netted a famous hat trick in the 6-2 win over Columbus Crew and scored a vital goal in the MLS play-off against Salt Lake, which nearly rescued a 3-0 deficit.
His willingness to attend fan events and mingle with his fellow Seattleites had increased the popularity gained from his on field performances, as had his easy going and likable demeanour.
Mike Fucito too was not without some very devoted fans.
Reaction in Montreal was upbeat.
“We have made our team much stronger today,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch.
“Mike Fucito is a dynamic and talented young forward who we believe is on the verge of having a great year and establishing himself as a very good forward in MLS.
Lamar Neagle is a player who is a very good offensive threat from wide positions and has also shown that he can score goals.”
Johnson scored a career-high 15 goals in 24 games with the Kansas City Wizards in 2007. He has 42 caps for the USA but has not featured on a regular basis in recent matches.
Vancouver Whitecaps now assume top place in the allocation order.
Neagle and Fucito join another 2011 Sounder Tyson Wahl in Quebec.
The machinations began on Thursday when Brian Ching was returned to his Houston home by Marsch in return for a draft pick.
With their offensive firepower removed, Montreal head hunted Neagle and Fucito with returning US international Johnson as the bait.
Johnson joined the Sounders squad in Florida on Saturday and played the first half hour in a 5-0 romp over Florida Gulf Coast before leaving with a pulled hamstring.
Johnson Trade, the Fall-out and Comment:
Johnson: I missed the league – Friday Teleconference Transcipt