Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Eddie Johnson going to Kansas City

Kansas City Wizards General Manager Curt Johnson announced today that his team has acquired Eddie Johnson (pictured) from FC Dallas. Johnson has been in Dallas for the last five seasons and signed a high-salary contract extension with the club just last summer.

The trade is not a big surprise. Once FCD signed Manchester United player Kenny Cooper last week, it looked to everyone that the team was either getting ready to play four-striker soccer or trade Johnson away.

Officially, Dallas received the Wizards allocation for missing the 2005 MLS Cup playoffs and the allocation that they received when Preki retired at the end of the season. However, KC had first dibs on Cooper, as they had made a discovery claim on him last year, but they passed on the option so that FCD could sign him. At the time everyone in both organizations insisted that no deal had been reached, but this announcement has got to make you wonder. Allocations are nice, but are these two unknowns worth Eddie Johnson?

Maybe FCD agreed to give Johnson to KC in exchange for Cooper, but delayed the announcement so they could finish their contract negotiations with Carlos Ruiz (they only finished the Ruiz deal last Thursday)? I have no proof of this, but it is not to crazy of an idea.

If such a deal happened, it is very interesting. Chances are Johnson is going to make the US World Cup team (unless he cannot get back into game shape). If he has a decent Cup, he will be going off to Europe soon (even if he doesn't, the odds are still good that this will happen). His move to Europe will earn his MLS club a nice transfer fee ($4-7 million is realistic).

However, Johnson will miss at least a month and a half of MLS play for World Cup duty (players going to Germany cannot play in their domestic league after May 9th), plus he is not fully back from his injuries of last year. With the season starting the first of April, KC will be lucky to get 5 full games out of him before he goes away.

Now once he comes back (provided he is not injured), they will probably have a sharp player for the remaining part of the season (or until they sell him to a club in Europe). I read this two ways. First, KC wants a name to try and draw fans to their games. Second, they are hoping to make a quick profit. Both things can help the club.

For Dallas, they get a player with a great deal of potential in Cooper, plus a much smaller paycheck. There has been some talk, mainly by Cooper, about him making the German squad, but I think that is almost as much of a long shot as Adu making the side, so they will not have to worry about him missing a large chuck of the season. Still, Cooper is untested in the MLS. If he catches fire and has a few good seasons, this will look like the smartest move ever. However, if Cooper fails, Dallas will look the fool.

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Blogger scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

6:23 AM  

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