Sounders look to release Adam Johansson, get under salary cap

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comMarch 20, 2013 

Sounders FC is expected to release defender Adam Johansson today in a move to cut salary at a position where clubs see other options.

Johansson, 30, started 27 games and made 28 appearances across all competitions last season. He signed with Seattle on Dec. 29, 2011, after playing seven seasons in Sweden’s top league and having made 15 appearances with the Swedish national team.

He seemed likely to retain his spot as regular right back, but he suffered a knee injury during preseason training in Arizona. That opened the door for rookie DeAndre Yedlin, who has started both of Seattle’s MLS games this season and appeared in both CONCACAF Champions League matches.

“It’s really a salary cap situation, primarily,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “Also with the trade for Shalrie Joseph, and we know that Brad Evans has played some at right back — that’s a consideration that we have moving forward, that Brad can go back there. It’s very important for Adam’s career for him to have regular first-team minutes because he’s on the Swedish national team.”

Johansson received $182,833 in total compensation last season, according to the Major League Soccer Players Union.

Schmid was asked if Johansson was on board with the move.

“The recognition is that it’s beneficial for him as well — especially with our thinking that once Shalrie gets into the lineup we might push Brad back there,” Schmid said. “Then it becomes a very competitive position for him back there as well. So for him to get into the World Cup team in 2014, to continue to be part of the qualifiers … if he’s not getting regular minutes, then that’s going to hurt him.”

Joseph and Evans were both limited in training Tuesday due to calf strains. That makes Yedlin or veteran Zach Scott the most likely starter Saturday when the Sounders return to MLS action at San Jose.

RESERVE REACTION

Veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann made his first appearance of the new season Sunday, starting the MLS Reserve League game against Portland. Hahnemann kept a clean sheet until the 86th minute, when Jose Valencia snuck a shot through traffic for a 1-0 Timbers win.

“We huffed and puffed, and we created lots of really good chances,” Hahnemann said. “(Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson) made a really good save off of (Alex) Caskey at the beginning of the second half. (We) hit the post, had a lot of really good chances, but couldn’t finish the game off. And you know, you keep giving them chances, and then a shot through bodies … pretty frustrating.”

Schmid, who watched the game from the stands, was asked which reserves impressed him.

“(Dylan) Remick, I thought, did all right in the reserve game,” Schmid said. “Zach Scott was good.… Caskey I thought had a good game — impacted the game. We were a little bit unlucky. And I thought our academy kids that came in did well also.”

Seattle’s next Reserve League match is March 31 at Real Salt Lake.

OPENER ANNIVERSARY

Tuesday marked the four-year anniversary of Seattle’s first MLS match, a 3-0 home win over the New York Red Bulls on March 19, 2009.

Five Sounders who appeared in that game remain with the club: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Scott and Evans, who scored the second goal.

“We came out on fire that game,” Evans said. “I remember going into a hard tackle with (Sinisa Ubiparipovic) within, like, two minutes of the game, and I said, ‘All right, that’s going to be the tempo.’ It set the tone of the game. And then we get a couple of goals, and then we’re on our way to our first three points.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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