Eddie Johnson earns MLS Player of the Week
Sounders FC forward's acquisition paying off heading into U.S. Open Cup final in Kansas City.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Eddie Johnson continues to justify Sounders FC's trade to acquire him in February.
The forward was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American soccer reporters on Monday. Johnson scored a picturesque header in the sixth minute to ignite a 4-0 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Johnson's weekly honor was his first this season. He is tied for fifth in MLS with 10 goals and has six in his last seven MLS games.
"I'm a new player and when I get on the field, I want the ball," said Johnson after the win Sunday. "It's all about doing what's best for the team."
The award is the fourth of Johnson's MLS career, as he earned the honor three times during the 2007 season with the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). He is the second Seattle player to be voted MLS Player of the Week this season, joining David Estrada, who won in Week 2.
Part of Johnson's success is his rhythm with Mauro Rosales. Rosales, a deft midfielder with the ball, has distributed evenly between high-powered strikers Johnson and Fredy Montero.
"Sometimes your individual talent doesn't work all the time," Johnson said. Of his 10 goals this season, six have been off Rosales assists. "It's about adding other elements to your game. One of the things I've always wanted to challenge myself with is good movement in the box, not being flat-footed all the time where you miss a tap-in or don't anticipate the cross.
"But I think we've established a really good partnership. It all comes with games and week-in and week-out training with each other. Doing crossing and finishing with each other, we're just having a great time right now."
The Sounders left Monday to play in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan. Seattle is seeking its fourth consecutive title, a feat that is unprecedented in North America and that has only been done twice in major knockout-style tournaments worldwide.
Now Johnson heads to play his former city with the award in hand, and a bigger prize in mind — the U.S. Open Cup.
"It feels good to go to K.C. on a winning note," he said, "and I'm looking forward to the game."