The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The arrival of Eidur Gudjohnsen into Sounders training this week is raising eyebrows locally and around Major League Soccer.
Seattle Times: “This one was a little bit out of the blue,” said general manager Adrian Hanauer. “We were contacted by his representation, and any time you get a chance to look at a player of Eidur’s quality… you jump at it.”
Gudjohnsen, whose name still resonates in global soccer, is currently a free agent after leaving Greece’s AEK Athens this summer. He practiced Wednesday for the first time with the Sounders and could attend Saturday’s home game against Chivas USA. The 33-year-old forward might even participate in Sunday’s reserve game.
Kyle McCarthy: Smaller clubs frequently harp on the seemingly dissimilar budgets afforded to teams in larger markets. This pair of potential deals certainly seems to fit the narrative neatly considering the squads and the stars already at the disposals of both managers and the rather remote prospect that both sides left enough budget space open to use on such proven players at this late stage.
Those cries often discount the salary budget gymnastics employed by the Galaxy and Sounders FC to build decent sides in the first place. Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has no peer in terms of shrewd roster management and manipulation, while Seattle coach Sigi Schmid and the platoon of technical staffers in the Pacific Northwest have shown their deft touch in the transfer market on a regular basis. Even with the pliable salary budget rules seemingly in place for their sides, these two clubs manage their money well.
SounderatHeart: For most of the non-game drill Gudjohnsen did the things you’d expect from EJ. He used his body, creative flicks, a step-over or two and was generally in the space that mirrored EJ. Montero and Cato were active “up top” (the drill was a quick ball movement exercise, not a goals game). The game was played where a decent view was difficult. He’d only recently flown in and the nature of today’s practice meant that fitness was impossible to judge. Adrian Hanauer and Sigi talked about Eidur’s opportunity in Seattle and what they thought of him.
Adrian Hanauer on the ability to sign Gudjohnsen “There’s obviously a lot of talk left to do, but we didn’t bring him in to sign him next year necessarily. We brought him in because we think there’s a chance we could fit him this year. But again there’s a lot of getting to know each other still ahead before we get to that.”
Wiki: Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen[note 1] (born 15 September 1978) is an Icelandic footballer who currently is a free agent currently on trial with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer after being released from AEK Athens in the Superleague Greece. He has previously played for Premier League club Chelsea and FC Barcelona of Spain, having made his name with Bolton Wanderers. He was the captain of the Iceland national team until manager Ólafur Jóhannesson took over the team. Throughout his professional career, Guðjohnsen has scored 160 goals in all competitions with his clubs and the national team. He is the son of Arnór Guðjohnsen, a former professional footballer. He is often considered to be one of the greatest Icelandic footballers, having won titles in the Netherlands, Spain, and England as well as the Champions League.