Sounders FC and the league office are actively shopping forward Eddie Johnson around MLS, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, citing an unnamed MLS team executive.
Johnson, Seattle’s leading scorer the past two years, is currently serving with the U.S. national team.
The tenuous status with the Sounders doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Johnson wasn’t brought up much in a Monday conference call with general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer when it came to the future of the team.
Hanauer, afterward, told me that Johnson was unlikely to play out the final year of his contract as it stands. A new deal would appear to be more than the Sounders are willing to undertake.
Johnson has had an up-and-down tenure in Seattle that past two years. His production is hard to argue, which has also led to a revival with the national team, but there have been many issues, as well, including a controversial “Pay me!” goal celebration in August.
So where might he go? Well, there was a tweet from a Canadian reporter Tuesday that Toronto FC could be interested. For a Sounders team always up against the salary cap, a trade to an Eastern Conference team for allocation money might be ideal if indeed the team is looking to unload Johnson.
Something to keep an eye on as this offseason.
Here is a quick look at Sounders FC’s career scoring leaders in MLS:
1. Fredy Montero, 47 goals
2. Eddie Johnson, 23 goals
3 (tie). Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani, 17 goals
5 (tie). Lamar Neagle and Alvaro Fernandez, 13 goals