I talked about Eddie getting his call last month. It was only a matter of time with his current run of form and it’s been obvious that he’s be noticed by Klinsmann with his return to MLS. I speculated that he would be a really interesting fit up top with the lack of a strong target man or specialist from the air.
Coupled with Brek Shea, Graham Zusi and Clint Dempsey to provide service to him while making runs through the box. It’s really interesting to see what he could provide up top with Jozy Altidore. The problem with that is that Jozy Altidore won’t be joining him. I’m not sure I understand completely why he was left off the roster. I’m sure there are a lot of theories on why.
Personally, seeing Alan Gordon and Johnson on the roster it’s obvious that the coach is taking a step forward and trying something new. Obviously Herculez Gomez is going to be paired with one of them as his time with Santos continues to take a toll. It was probably smart to get hime out of there and get some training with the national team. Likely we’ll see him up top with one of the new kids and a combo of Landon Donovan and Dempsey assumingly out on the wings.
The US attack doesn’t have to be an over powering one going up against Antigua & Barbuda even with it being on the road. Antigua isn’t a tough team and should really be easily put away for 3 points. The more difficult game will be Guatemala who is currently tied with the US on top of the group. 3 points on the island are important but even more so are going to be the 3 points at home in LiveStrong park.
Sigi talked a bit about Eddie and RSL on Saturday. “Schmid said hypothetically that it wouldn’t rule out a player’s involvement in a crucial Oct. 17 home game against Real Salt Lake.” via Joshua Mayers and the Seattle Times.
While it’s great to see EJ get back with the National team the one problem is that it’s really not the greatest timing for the Sounders. It’s important to realize that he likely won’t be available for the game against Real. That’s kind of a big thing when you talk about the defensive prowess of the Royals. The more weapons the better.
That said there is also a positive side to Johnson missing an important match. This only helps grow the brand of the Sounders not just across America but worldwide. It sucks not having him with some tough opponents but there is long term gain when it comes to the club. We’ve seen how having Mauro Rosales on the Sounders has brought added global interest to the club. They’ve been connected with some interesting individuals over the last year. Eddie Johnson going on to play with the US can only be a good thing at this point.
It remains to be seen how this is going to affect Johnson long term and his connection with the Sounders. If he’ll still stick with the club or if he’ll take one more stab at playing abroad. This remains an interesting story line as the off-season begins in a little over two months away. If nothing else this has been a really fun ride.