BY SPNW Staff 06:09PM 02/17/2012

Sounders Swap Fucito, Neagle for Eddie Johnson

In swap with Montreal, the Sounders acquire an EPL-level striker with international experience.

The Sounders traded a forward and a midfielder Friday in order to acquire striker Eddie Johnson. / Fulham photo

Seattle Sounders FC Friday traded forward Mike Fucito and midfielder Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact for U.S. international forward Eddie Johnson, who had just been selected by the Impact with the No. 1 pick in Major League Soccer’s allocation process.

Johnson, 27, signed with MLS earlier this week after spending much of the past five seasons with Fulham of the English Premier League.

“Eddie is a high-quality striker who is a very good finisher,” said Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson, who coached Johnson at Kansas City. “We are very excited to have him join Sounders FC in our quest for another successful season.”

A member of the U.S. National Team since scoring in his debut in October 2004, Johnson has made 41 appearances with 12 goals for the senior club. He scored eight goals in nine FIFA World Cup qualifying appearances, and is the only U.S. player to score a hat trick coming off the bench (Oct. 13, 2004).

Johnson became the first player in national team history to score in each of his first four appearances, three of which were 2006 World Cup qualifying matches. He is also one of the most prolific scorers in U.S. Youth National Team history, tallying 37 career goals in 51 international games with the U-17s, U-20s and U-23s.

On the loss of Fucito and Neagle, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said, “It’s always difficult to part ways with two quality individuals who have contributed greatly to the success of our first three years. We saw this as a unique opportunity to bring a player in with World Cup and international experience who can help us in our quest to win the MLS Cup.”

A Daytona Beach, FL. native, Johnson began his pro career in MLS, playing four seasons for FC Dallas before joining Kansas City for two seasons. He scored 41 goals with 13 assists in 127 MLS appearances.

The six-foot forward then spent four years with Fulham, signing with the EPL side in 2007. Johnson was loaned to English League Championship Cardiff City in 2008-09, when he appeared in 30 games and scored two goals.

In 2009, Johnson was loaned to Aris of the Greek Super League and appeared in 12 matches with one goal. Johnson’s stint in Europe ended with his loan to Preston North End, for which he scored one goal in 16 appearances.

Johnson will join the Sounders Saturday in Florida.

Seattle selected the 25-year-old Fucito in the fourth round (46th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. In his three seasons with the Sounders, he scored three goals with two assists in 23 appearances. Fucito added five goals with one assist in the 2010 and 2011 CONCACAF Champions League and also scored two goals in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

A Federal Way native, Neagle, 24, joined the Sounders FC on March 2, 2011. In 23 MLS appearances last season, he scored five goals with two assists, and added a goal in the playoffs.

Neagle was named MLS Player of the Week in August for a hat trick against the Columbus Crew.

The Sounders host Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals March 7, and open MLS play March 17 against Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle Sounders FC Off-season News/Transactions

  • Nov. 23: Lost defender James Riley to the Montreal Impact in the MLS expansion draft. Riley came to the Sounders in the 2008 expansion draft from the San Jose Earthquakes. After his selection, the Impact traded Riley to Chivas USA.
  • Nov. 23: Accepted the resignation of lead broadcaster Arlo White, who took a position with NBC as its lead announcer on MLS coverage.
  • Nov. 24: Traded defender Tyson Wahl to the Montreal Impact in exchange for allocation money. Wahl made 39 appearances for the Sounders in three seasons after coming to Seattle in the 2008 expansion draft from Kansas City, where he played three seasons.
  • Dec. 2: Announced that defender Taylor Graham, a seven-year MLS veteran, and goalkeeper Terry Boss both retired. They had been members of the Sounders since 2009.
  • Dec. 6: Announced that the club would kick off its fourth season in MLS on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at home; time, opponent, and national broadcast information to be announced.
  • Dec. 7: Signed Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning as a replacement for Kasey Keller. Gspurning, 30, has been capped three times by Austria and played the past four seasons for Skoda Xanthi of Greece’s top flight.
  • Dec. 12: Selected D Marc Burch from D.C. United in the MLS re-entry process stage 2 draft.
  • Dec. 14: Signed Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales to a two-year contract, announced at the club’s annual business meeting with season-ticket holders. Rosales, 30, set the club record with 13 assists in 26 league matches, ranking third in MLS. He also scored five goals.
  • Dec. 29: Signed Swedish defender Adam Johansson to a multi-year contract.
  • Jan. 3: Signed Burch, most recently of D.C. United, to a contract.
  • Jan. 5: Announced that the U.S. National Team had called in midfielder Brad Evans and defender Jeff Parke for a training camp that will run through Jan. 26 in the U.S. and Panama.
  • Jan. 10: Announced that Ross Fletcher, formerly of BBC Radio, and former goalkeeper Kasey Keller would serve as the team’s broadcast team, Fletcher as the play-by-play voice, Keller as analyst.
  • Jan. 12: Drafted Andrew Duran, named the Missouri Valley Conference’s defender of the year at Creighton University, with the 15th pick in the first round of Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft. With their second-round pick, 34th overall, the Sounders selected forward Babayele Sodade (Bah-bye-elle-EE Sho-Dahd-DAY) of Alabama-Birmingham.
  • Jan. 11: Announced that Danish midfielder Christian Sivebaek, 23, has been signed.
  • Jan. 17: Selected four players — D Tim Pontius of the UC Santa Barbara, M Jason Banton of the Liverpool reserves, UW F Abdul Aman and Cal Poly defender Wes Feighner– and also acquired the rights to UCLA midfielder Andy Rose from Real Salt Lake in exchange for the rights to defender Leone Cruz, selected 21st overall in 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
  • Jan. 18: Signed F Cordell Cato, a native of Trinidad and Tabago.
  • Feb. 17: Traded F Mike Fucito and MF Lamar Neagle to the Montreal impact for U.S. international F Eddie Johnson.


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