After finishing with the worst attack in MLS history last season, D.C. United has taken a major step toward resolving its scoring woes.
United on Tuesday acquired U.S. national team striker Eddie Johnson from the Seattle Sounders for allocation money. The trade ends a monthslong saga for Johnson, who publicly indicated displeasure with his $150,000 base salary on a Seattle team featuring Obafemi Martins ($1.6 million) and Clint Dempsey ($4.9 million).
"He is one of the most dangerous attacking players in MLS, and we believe he will be an important contributor to our team," United general manager Dave Kasper said in a news release.
Following an unsuccessful stint with Fulham from 2008 to 2011, Johnson in two seasons with Seattle scored 21 goals in 49 regular season games, plus three goals in six playoff matches. He also has enjoyed a resurgence with the USA during that span, notching seven goals in 19 appearances.
"Eddie was a valuable part of our team the last two seasons," Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said. "Eddie is a tremendous player who gave us some wonderful moments. This was an opportunity for us to receive allocation money that can strengthen our club in many areas. We wish him the best in D.C."
Johnson joins a United attack that averaged 0.65 goals per game in 2013 and saw three players tie for the club lead with just three goals apiece. This marks the fifth straight offseason in which United has made a high-profile striker acquisition, following Danny Allsopp in 2010, Charlie Davies in 2011, Hamdi Salihi in 2012 and Rafael in 2013. Each of those players departed after a single season.
United coach Ben Olsen is familiar with Johnson after the two were teammates on the USA's squads at the 2006 World Cup and 2007 Copa America. Olsen also selected Johnson as a coach's pick for the 2012 All-Star Game, in which the striker scored the game-winning goal for the MLS side over Chelsea.
"I'm excited with this move to the most storied franchise in MLS, and I look forward to getting started with my new D.C. United teammates," Johnson said.
Johnson, 29, is the fourth American veteran United has added this offseason following the acquisitions of center back Bobby Boswell (30), right back Sean Franklin (28) and midfielder Davy Arnaud (33).
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