BY SPNW Staff 03:22PM 10/08/2012

Johnson, Sounders mates called to national teams

Eddie Johnson officially re-joined the U.S. Men’s National Team, getting the call from coach Jurgen Klinsmann over the weekend as two Sounders teammates, Adam Johansson of Sweden and Mario Martinez of Honduras, also were called by their respective national teams for qualifying matches in the 2014 World Cup.

Since his debut in 2004, Johnson has 41 caps and 12 goals for the U.S. His last appearance came in a scoreless draw against Colombia Oct. 12, 2010, at PPL Park in Chester, PA.

Johansson, Johnson and Martinez will be with their national teams Oct. 16, making their availability for the Sounders’ next match against Real Salt Lake Oct. 17 at CenturyLink Field questionable.

Asked if he ever had doubts he would be called back to the the U.S. team, Johnson said, “I’d be lying if I said no. I think there’s always doubt at some time in your career when things aren’t going well.”

But things are going well for Johnson, who has been a scoring star for the Sounders this season, including his 14th goal  of the season Sunday in the 3-0 win over Portland.

“I think the biggest thing going on in my corner is having a coach of German background,” Johnson said, laughing, referring to the nationality of Klinsmann and the Sounders’ Sigi Schmid.  “Sigi told me when I first arrived in Seattle that he had a good relationship with Jurgen. If I was doing my business, believing in everything they were trying to accomplish in Seattle and the team was winning, and I was scoring goals and my behavior was good, Jurgen would give me a chance.

“All that said, I just believe that hard work pays off. I’ve been working very hard in Seattle. I couldn’t ask for a better team to be playing with, a better group of players. My teammates, they push me week in and week out. Playing in front of 45,000 fans week in and week out, that pushed me to be better as a player and be a consistent player because we know if you’re not doing well in Seattle, you’ll get abused.”

Klinsmann said he has talked several times with Schmid about Johnson, who had a reputation for immaturity.

“I think Sigi has done a tremendous job with him,” Klinsmann said. “Eddie is back into that position because he worked very hard for it. If you watch his games and his drive, his hunger that he has, the way he chases defenders, and the way he creates for himself and his striking partners chances. The way he also finishes things off speaks for him.

“And he’s not a newcomer. He’s part of that program now over the last 10 years or so. He also had difficult times. He struggled in Europe. Sigi found a way to get him back on track, and it’s exciting to see. We already played with that thought for the last camp, and I think this camp opened the door for him. Now we’re curious to see him in the middle of his old buddies. I think he really deserved that call.”

Johnson, 28, will join for qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda Oct. 12 in St. John’s and against Guatemala Oct. 16 in Kansas City.

Johansson, 29, will join Sweden for a pair qualifiers against Faroe Islands Oct. 12 and against Germany Oct. 16 in Berlin. Johansson has 11 caps for Sweden, which is in Group C and won its first qualifying match against Kazakhstan, 2-0. Germany leads the group with wins in its first two matches.

Martinez, 23, will join Honduras for amatch against Panama Oct. 12 in Panama City, as well as a second match is against Canada Oct. 16 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Martinez has 19 caps for Honduras.

The U.S. is tied with Guatemala and Jamaica with seven points through four matches in CONCACAF’s Group A. The U.S. and Guatemala are even with six goals scored and four goals against.

Honduras is in CONCACAF’s Group C and tied with Canada for second with seven points, two points behind group leader Panama.

The Sounders, who drew 66,452 fans to CenturyLink Sunday night for their 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, do not play again until meeting Real Salt Lake. The three points moved the Sounders (14-7-10, 52 points) from third to second in the Western Conference.

The Sounders also moved into first place in the Cascadia Cup standings with nine points, one ahead of Portland. The Timbers will win the Cascadia Cup if they defeat Vancouver Oct. 20. The Sounders will win if Portland loses that match.


YourThoughts

  • OffTheLows

    I’m sick of seeing people coddle Wilson. I don’t care that he’s a rookie. You have a capable guy behind him that isn’t. A guy who is not useless when in the pocket. Wilson can’t see downfield, receivers are routinely getting open and he either scrambles or throws to someone else because his vision is obstructed. Our pass blocking isn’t sufficient enough to keep the pocket from collapsing on Wilson and leading to failed drives and a QB that’s struggling for 150 yards passing a game. Every facet of our game is good except penalties, which improved today, I’ll give you coaching, and the QB. We wasted a terrific running game by Lynch and Turbin and a defense that gave up zero offensive points. Inexcusable the Seahawks couldn’t score into the 20s vs the Rams defense. Brees showed the Packers are garbage on D too today, though you’d hardly notice it with our 1″ shorter rookie QB.

    • art thiel

      The capable guy, we learn this morning, has a sore elbow. And even he would have the same problems lining up behind the current pass protection. But he would be quicker to check down.

  • AaronNC

    Very disapointing to say the least. Im at a lost of words Seattle better come up with a new game plan soon, or Pete and Co. Will be jobless in Seattle! Looks like yet again another losing season, how many chances does Pete have 3 losing seasons. In the normal everyday world people performing at a bad level for there job would be fired. Where is Jim Mora

    • art thiel

      Mora is about the last answer, Carroll knows they’ve asked too much of Wilson, but barely. See answer above.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Having a strong run game is fine, but that alone will not cut it in the NFL. You win by scoring points, and i’ll bet i’m not alone in having zero confidence when late in the fourth quarter they had essentially the last possession and the possibility to secure a road win. I started planning my yardwork for the day at that point

    RW has had 3 late-4th quarter possessions in which he could get it over the top, he is 0-3 in those situations….(assuming we discount GB as we should, he looked equally befuddled)

    • art thiel

      Nothing about RW’s play should be a surprise, given his rookieness and physical limits. The coaches are responsible for designing a game plan he can win with. It’s close: they could 4-0 as easily as 1-3.

  • jafabian

    Wilson’s inexperience has really shown the past couple games. At some point Carroll has to wonder if Flynn would be any better, especially if they want to make the playoffs.

    • art thiel

      Stay tuned. Carroll said Flynn’s elbow is hurting. How convenient.

  • Josh

    A little over reaction on the play call last week. Funny how the pro refs nearly cost GB another win today.

  • Bayview Herb

    I thought the Seahalws came out flat, perhaps overconfident even. No way the offensive coordinater was fooling anyone with his calls either. The Rams had our offense figured out perfectly and we didn’t adapt.

    • art thiel

      They went 80 in 8 plays in their first drive. That was not coming out flat. The OC has dumbed down the playbook for Wilson, so they’re taking a risk, and paid for it Sunday.

  • ryanvdonk

    bevell may be the worst play caller in the league, completely predictable 90% of the time, but the other 10% are headscratchers with a low chance of working. time to hand over those reigns to someone else on staff…maybe cable?

    • art thiel

      As far as Sunday, he wasn’t predictable enough. When Lynch is getting 7 a pop, don’t throw the ball on 3rd-and-2. Additonally, they’ve dumbed down th playbook for Wilson’s benefit, which makes sense on paper, but they’ve gone too far to benefit the team.

  • Matt712

    A major flaw in Pete Carroll’s “Open Competition” system (or any system, really) is simply that no ‘system’ can account for everything. I think it’s been a very good philosophy in terms of work ethic, personal accountability and self-improvement, but at key positions, particularly the quarterback position, ‘The Pete Carroll Pre-Season Open’ failed to take experience into account. So, now I’m finally gonna say it… Matt Flynn never got a fair shot. And here’s why:

    Pete, like many of us, simply got swept off his feet by a marvelous young man who played well in preseason games against lessor talent (taking the start against KC into account) and/or simplified schemes. I submit that if Flynn had faced the 2nd/3rd stringers in his pre-season games, the results would have been similar. Still, he didn’t look bad as a starter, he just didn’t look spectacular. Then, the sore elbow. And before the opening snap of PS game 4, the competition was over.

    Really? So, Matt Flynn got all of one half of 2 pre-season football games to not win the starting job. This, after several seasons backing up the best in the game and starting two regular season games spectacularly at Green Bay. And all that wins a guy is a shot at the job in training camp and a fat paycheck? That paycheck isn’t supposed to just compensate someone for past results. It was supposed to buy future ones based on proven performance. Matt Flynn proved himself prior to coming here. System fail.

    Someone had to say it.

    • art thiel

      Fair point to say Flynn didn’t get a full shot. You’re calling it a fail after four games, but now we learn this morning that Flynn supposedly can’t throw more than 15 reps in practice because of his elbow. There’s more going on, naturally, than we’re being told. So hold off on the fail.

  • Kevin

    I was a big Wilson fan after the Kansas City pre-season game, but now I’m not as sold on him. Where’s the crafty QB who seemed a step ahead of everybody on the field? Yes, he’s young and learning. Yes, he’s kept the team in every game. Yes, he hasn’t made typical rookie mistakes by forcing throws into double or triple coverages. But still… this offense should be moving the ball better. With the best RB in the game, there should be plenty of opportunities to throw the ball downfield. I love the kid and I hope he does well, but how much shorter is the leash on him now (Flynn’s injury notwithstanding)?