Eddie Johnson wants a raise. The Seattle Sounders don’t seem to have much salary-cap space. There was always some reason to think the United States international might be on the move this offseason.
Now you can add an SI.com report from Grant Wahl to the equation. Citing an unnamed MLS executive, the report claims the Sounders are shopping around Johnson to other teams. As part of a trade, the 29-year-old forward would also be due a raise beyond what his current contract promises.
The Sounders had no comment on the report when contacted Wednesday by MLSsoccer.com, but Johnson’s name was notably absent from general manager Adrian Hanauer’s conference call with media on Monday addressing the state of the team.
Hanauer did note that there were likely to be moves made following a season in which the Sounders finished on a 1-6-3 skid that included a 5-3 aggregate-goal loss to the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
“We do feel like we need to make some changes on the team to win a championship, and so we are going to create some cap space,” he said. “It will take time and, obviously, I’m not going to talk about how we will get there exactly, but there could be some decent turnover on our roster.”
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Replacing Johnson would not necessarily be an easy task, as he led Seattle in scoring in each of the past two seasons (23 regular-season goals) and holds the club record for MLS playoff goals (three, including two this year). He has also worked himself back into the picture for the US national team – with whom he’s currently training ahead of friendlies against Scotland and Austria – scoring five goals in 11 international appearances this year.
But with Johnson making his desire for a raise well known – most notably his “pay me” celebration following his goal against the Columbus Crew on Aug. 31 – trading him might be the team’s best option.