As resumes go in world soccer, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s is eye-popping. Included are stops at Chelsea and Barcelona, two of the truly high-dollar estates in global soccer’s gated community.
Could the Icelandic international soon add “Seattle Sounders FC” to that list?
This one landed as quite the surprise yesterday as Gudjohnsen has popped up at Sigi Schmid’s practices, on trial.
“Trial” may seem like a blunt euphemism for “place to stash a guy while we figure out how to fit him under the salary cap.” Indeed, the Sounders are among the masters at kneading and working the arcane MLS salary cap mechanics like so much pizza dough.
But Gudjohnsen’s addition is no slam dunk, and not just because he would need to accept a salary (probably something puny this year with significantly escalating options) that represents a pittance of his earnings at those former stops.
First, there is an alarming history of injury and (presumably related) inability to catch on and stick anywhere over the last four years. Since leaving Barcelona in 2009, Gudjohnsen has played just 44 matches while rotating in and out at five clubs over three seasons.
Two seasons ago, spells at Stoke City and Fulham failed to bear fruit. Last year, the former Iceland captain played just 10 matches for AEK Athens.
There are also issues of locker room accord Sounders officials must consider; that’s touchy, and not just because the Seattle is doing well at the moment. I suspect there are already issues behind closed doors at CenturyLink already that need sorting out. What happens if you bring in a guy with such a glitzy resume – who then doesn’t play as much as he might expect?
FYI: Gudjohnsen can be signed beyond the MLS transfer window because he is out of contract. The transfer deadline applies only to players under contract. The only pressure point here is the league’s Sept. 15 roster freeze date.