Eddie Johnson will be returning to MLS, but the surprise is that he will be doing it with the Seattle Sounders after they traded Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact to get the American striker. The Impact got the rights to Johnson after he signed with MLS and immediately looked to move the striker, but it's unlikely they thought they could get the haul they did for him.
Exactly why the Sounders would trade two good young players for Johnson remains unclear, but that is what they have done. Outside of Fredy Montero, the Sounders are short on proven forwards, so that could be construed as the reason for their bringing Johnson on, but can he really be considering proven anymore? He has 45 goals in MLS, but he last played in the league in 2007 and has not impressed at Fulham, Cardiff City or Aris since leaving for Europe. And recently, things got worse for Johnson.
After leaving Europe, Johnson came back to North America looking for a club and agreed to a deal with Puebla in Mexico. The excitement didn't last long, though, because he was released within days for what was reported to be poor fitness and diminished speed. Johnson without speed doesn't sound like much of a soccer player.
This is a very curious move for Seattle. General Manager Adrian Hanauer deserves some benefit of the doubt for what he's built in Seattle and he will be banking on Johnson returning to his form of old when he was U.S. international, but that is asking for a lot from a guy who has shown nothing that looks like quality in years. Meanwhile, it appears as if the Impact made out like bandits, with Montreal manager Jesse Marsch coming away as the winner of the day.
For more on the trade, check out Seattle Sounders blog Sounder At Heart.