Adam Johansson will not forget the 2012 season in a hurry. In this year, he received a surprise move to North America, where he was able to play in front of crowds most Europeans fail to imagine can exist in the USA.
Even those few Europeans who can envisage that will find something else the Swedish defender saw completely unfathomable - the Germans throwing away a four goal lead.
Yet Johansson witnessed that too up close and personal; from the vantage point of the Sweden bench, as his national side shocked over 70,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
It is therefore understandable if Johansson is not fazed by very much, least of all heading away from home with just a 0-0 result from the home leg.
When we spoke to him after the match, he found confidence both from his Berlin experience and Sounders own triumphs in single elimination cup ties in the US Open Cup.
Prost Amerika: You’ve seen some amazing games in the last month; Sweden come from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with the Germans and you’ve now seen a great goalkeeping performance by both guys. From a defender’s perspective, can you talk a little about the goalkeeping today?
Adam Johannson: Obviously, the goalkeepers were good because there were a lot of chances and still the game is zero/zero. I think the defenses were good but the goalkeeping was amazing today.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a goal. I think we had enough chances to create a goal today.
It’s always important when you play at home to get a goal. I think we would have been pleased today if we had 1-0 or even 2-0. It would have felt better to go down there and know that. Then you have some goals at your back.
But now it is what it is. We have to do a really good game down there to beat these guys because they are obviously good. It’s a good team.
Prost Amerika: It’s now reduced to a one legged tie but this is a team that has won the Open Cup three of the last four years. Is there a confidence that you’re good in single game eliminators.
Adam Johannson: Yeah, definitely. I think we have been playing really well. On the road too, so we feel confident for this game. Now we just have to … gather some power …We got to relax and take it easy for a couple of days and then go out there for 90- minutes and work our asses off.
Prost Amerika: If I could ask you about the Germany v Sweden game, you sat on the Swedish bench as your country came back from 4-0 down to draw. Can you describe the atmosphere on that Swedish bench with your fellow players and coach?
Adam Johannson: Yeah I mean, I think from the beginning we didn’t think we had a chance. If we got a goal, we’d be just happy. Then we got a second one pretty quick and maybe a bit confident. I don’t think anyone thought that we would get some more goals. But then when we get the third one, I think they started to feel some pressure and then when we scored a fourth one, it was like .. it was amazing.
Prost Amerika: Was that the most remarkable game you’ve ever seen as a player or spectator?
Adam Johannson: Yeahh … I think so. It must be. It must be. Playing away in Berlin and meeting Germany, probably one of the best teams in the world … and to come back from 4-0. Yes of course.
Prost Amerika: Does that help you believe anything can happen in football?
Adam Johannson: (laughs) Yeahhh. After that? Exactly!
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