Eddie and Fredy still building Sounders chemistry

May 22, 2012, 9:15 AM | Updated: 10:32 am
Eddie Johnson, pictured celebrating a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy earlier this month, is enjoying his partnership with fellow forward Fredy Montero. (AP)

Sounders forwards Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero teamed up for some late-game heroics in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday night. Johnson flicked on a pass to Montero, who scored in the 90th minute for a dramatic 2-2 tie against the rival Whitecaps.

Johnson is the explosive athlete Sounders FC hoped he would be when they traded away Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to Montreal in the offseason. It’s clearly obvious Johnson is enjoying his new team and his partnership with Seattle’s young star, Montero.

“Fredy is a special player and we’re very fortunate to have him,” Johnson said after Sounders training this week. “Hopefully we can see him keep the scoring ratio he has right now. For myself, being a striker, I want to be out there scoring goals with him.”

Montero is on a hot streak, finding the back of the net four times in the last five games. With Johnson holding the ball as a target, Montero is able to make runs to dangerous places near the goal.

Johnson knew it would take time blending with Montero and the other primary players of Seattle’s attack.

“Some players come in and they settle right away,” he said. “Unfortunately in my career it’s taken a little longer. The more games I get out there with the guys on the field, we’re starting to get a better understanding.”

Part of the Sounders’ offensive inconsistency this season has been due to injuries. Mauro Rosales missed nearly a month with a knee sprain. Alvaro Fernandez is finally getting close to 100 percent. Passes from those two players are critical to goal-scoring chances, according to Johnson.

“Rosales is a great crosser of the ball,” he said. “He has assists on two of my goals, and I think me and Rosales are starting to form a great partnership. He brings a lot of experience from overseas and we’re still jelling as a team.”

There were positive signs from Seattle’s injury front this week. Midfielder Brad Evans is close to returning to the starting 11. Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning told me his hip is feeling much better. He did some light jogging at the Starfire complex in Tukwila.

Seattle has another busy week with the Columbus Crew coming to CenturyLink Field Wednesday night. Sounders then head to Carson, Calif. for a Saturday night game against Chivas, USA. Hear both contests on 97.3 KIRO FM.

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