Eidur Gudjohnsen's tryout with Sounders came 'out of the blue'
Gudjohnsen, who has played for top clubs like Chelsea FC and FC Barcelona, joined the Sounders this week for a tryout. Seattle has until Sept. 15 to sign him.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Eidur Gudjohnsen's résumé can't be ignored.
Former clubs include Chelsea FC (2000-2006) and FC Barcelona (2006-2009).
Trophies won include the UEFA Champions League and regular-season titles in England, Spain and Holland.
So how did he end up with Sounders FC this week for a tryout?
"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.
The deadline for a prospective deal is Sept. 15, when MLS rosters freeze. The immediacy isn't lost on the Sounders.
"We didn't bring him in to sign him next year, necessarily," said Hanauer. "We brought him in because we think there's a chance that we could do something this year. There's a lot of getting to know each other still ahead before we get to that."
Gudjohnsen, who was not made available to media, is a few years removed from his standout seasons in Europe and has had to overcome a broken leg suffered last October.
Coach Sigi Schmid noted the new arrival's 13-hour journey when asked for an early assessment.
"It's tough — one practice, first day out," Schmid said. "You can tell he's a good player. You can tell by the touches and the movement and so forth."
The Icelander's physical attributes — he's a sturdy 6 feet 1 — were immediately evident.
"You just have to look at his (previous) clubs to know that he has quality," said goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, another alumnus of the Greek league.
Gudjohnsen, an 18-year veteran, has been to Seattle twice before as a part of summer tours. He scored and had an assist for Chelsea in a 4-2 win against Celtic FC in 2004 and played the second half in Barcelona's 4-0 win against the Sounders in a 2009 exhibition.
"We're honored as a club that he would consider our team," Schmid said, "so we'll see how things go this week."
• Osvaldo Alonso (head) was scheduled to follow concussion protocol after Wednesday's practice, and Schmid expected the midfielder would be cleared.
• Midfielder Andy Rose (cracked rib) and forward/midfielder David Estrada (broken foot) have increased their participation in training as they near returns.
• Schmid said Eddie Johnson didn't travel for last week's games in Trinidad and Dallas for rest — the forward hasn't played a full season in a few years — to nurse a slight adductor strain.
• Jalen Markey, a 17-year-old Renton native and defender in the Sounders Academy, has been called up for a U.S. U-18 men's national team camp in Holland from Thursday to Sept. 17.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org