When the Seattle Sounders traded for the rights to forward Kenny Cooper on Friday, many felt the move spelled the end of the road for star forward Eddie Johnson in Seattle.
That thinking perhaps wasn't unfounded after a Saturday report in the Washington Post that claims three MLS teams -- D.C. United, LA Galaxy and Chivas USA -- are in the running to land the 29-year-old USMNT striker via trade which could take place "in the coming days."
But the most revealing part of the article by D.C. United beat writer Steve Goff may be the claim by a source that Johnson "will not return to Seattle -- that's done. It's a matter of where he goes in MLS."
The LA Galaxy and D.C. United declined to comment on the story when contacted by MLSsoccer.com. The Seattle Sounders and Chivas USA are yet to respond to a request for comment.
It's no secret that DC are in desperate need to revamp their attack this offseason after finishing wth a league-low 22 goals scored in 2013. Manager Ben Olsen brought back Conor Doyle on a permanent basis from English club Derby County, but aging veterans Carlos Ruiz, Dwayne De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy were all let go in recent weeks.
DC also have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming SuperDraft on January 16 and they are projected to select high-scoring Maryland senior forward Patrick Mullins, who plays in the College Cup final on Sunday (3 pm ET, ESPNU).
Meanwhile, Johnson has been angling for a new contract ever since his infamous "pay me" gesture in September after scoring a goal in Columbus. He may not have been one of the Sounders' three big-money Designated Players since signing on in 2012, but Johnson was still one of the club's top-performing players with 23 goals scored over two seasons, including a club-record 14 in 2012.
After a nondescript spell abroad, Johnson's career revival in Seattle thrust him back into the US national team picture and he is expected to be part of the USMNT World Cup team in Brazil next summer.