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December 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Swedish defender Adam Johansson, your next Sounder?

johansson mug.jpgNOTE: Thanks for your patience on this late update as I served a furlough day, one scheduled months ago, on Tuesday.

No matter how skeptical you are when it comes to transfer rumors, you have to admit that it looks almost certain that Swedish defender Adam Johansson, a 28-year-old right back, will sign with Sounders FC before the 2012 season.

Former Sounder Erik Friberg, a Swede himself, tipped off many local fans with a couple tweets Tuesday morning. Johansson’s agent, Carl Fhager, tweeted him back in one instance. Brad Evans also pondered nicknames for the new guy.

Throughout the day, a large handful of reports in Sweden followed — one of which came on the website of IFK Goteborg, Johansson’s last team. For a sample of those other reports, here are a few (including quotes from the player, who has nine caps with his national team): Goteborg Post, Fotbollskanalen, Sportbladet and Expressen.

For what it’s worth, the Sounders confirmed interest in Johansson and said he was in Seattle to meet team officials earlier this month.

According to what I gleaned from the rough internet translations, Johansson is primarily a right back that was also being courted by teams in Denmark, Norway and perhaps Belgium. It sounds like he could be training with the national team in January and won’t be coming to Seattle until February.

Johansson is quoted in a couple stories as saying he talked to the New York Red Bulls’ Swedish coach Hans Backe and Friberg about the league to help make his decision.

The agreed-upon deal, which isn’t 100-percent official yet, is believed to be for three years, according to the reports.

It also sounds like his previous contract expired in the fall, which would make his a free transfer. A former captain at IFK Goteborg, he had reportedly long expressed his desire to leave the club, but left the door open to finishing his career there.

Obviously Johansson would fill a need for the Sounders, with three-year starter James Riley lost in the expansion draft. Johansson’s development for seven seasons at IFK Goteborg led to an opportunity with the Swedish national team, where fans remember a particularly strong performance against superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in a World Cup qualifier against Portugal in 2009 that ended 0-0. Others have mentioned some concern over an apparent serious knee injury that Johansson has since recovered from.

Lastly, he also continues the Swedish pipeline (the Sounders have never started a season without one: Freddie Ljungberg 2009-10, Friberg 2011).

What do you think? Is this a move that excites you?


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