The Sounders set up a conference call today with new defender Adam Johansson. I think he made a pretty good first impression with the media.
Here’s what he had to say:
When you were considering this offer, were you thinking about wanting to play in MLS or specifically for the Sounders?
AJ: “I would say both, because from what I saw when I was in Seattle, it was a very big club with a big audience. Also it’s a big step for me just coming to the United States. It’s a long way from home and it’s going to be a great experience, so I would say both. But I mean I wouldn’t come if I didn’t find Seattle a great club and a club where I can win something.”
What is the reputation of the Sounders in Sweden?
AJ: After Fredrik (Ljungberg) went there I would say that they have a reputation, but I mean the MLS is not the biggest league in Sweden. When you watch football, you usually watch football from some of the European leagues. But I think its reputation is growing every year.”
What did Erik Friberg tell you about the team and how much influence did he have on you coming here?
AJ: “Yeah, Erik spoke to me and he had a lot of good things to say about Seattle. I’d say there was nothing that wasn’t good — maybe the travel is a bit long if you compared it to how it is in Sweden. But he had a lot of good things to say about the team and the league. I would say that he influenced me.”
What are your plans for January? Will you be training with the national team before joining the Sounders?
AJ: “First I’m going to train with IFK Goteborg for two weeks. Then I’m going to go with the national teams. We are traveling to Qatar and I’m going to be there for 10 days. Then I come home and then I go to, I think, Arizona the 1st of February.”
Is the potential travel for future national duty a concern?
AJ: “Yeah, I’ve been speaking to our national team … and they told me if I was good enough it wouldn’t be a problem for me to play with the national team. Of course it’s a bit more difficult; it’s a long flight and it’s a lot of hours and time change. Maybe it’s a bit harder, but I don’t think it’ll affect me that much. If I’m good enough then I can be with the national team.”
Can you tell us about your knee injury and how your recovery has gone?
AJ: “I don’t feel it at the moment — nothing. I had a good rehabilitation and it took me six or seven months and then I played my first game. At the moment I don’t feel anything. It’s no different from my other leg. It’s not a problem. I don’t think about it.”
What did Hans Backe tell you about MLS?
AJ: “He was really positive. He told me some things about the league that I didn’t know and he told me that the league was better than some of the people in Sweden say. He has been there for two years I think. He told me that it’s the same level as Holland and that it’s a good league.”
How would describe yourself as a player and what role does Sigi see for you?
AJ: “I haven’t spoken to Sigi that much, so I can’t really say anything about that. But I think I’m a player that tries to be quite offensive. Even though I’m a defensive player, I want to be in the offensive play. I’m a quite good runner; I have quite good endurance. My crosses are quite good, maybe that’s something that I can influence the team with.”
When you visited Seattle, what was the appeal?
AJ: “In a way it’s similar to Gothenburg. They have the same kind of climate and I’m used to that. I think the city was really nice and the people were really friendly. I had a great stay there, so I think I’m going to have a good time.”
What do you think about having to play on artificial turf?
AJ: “We have some teams … which are playing on artificial grass, so I’m used to that.”
How much experience do you have playing on the left?
AJ: “When I was playing with the national team, I usually played on the left. But I see myself as a defender to the right, so that’s where I want to play. If the coach wants me to play on the left, I can play there, but I think I’m better on the right.”
What do you remember of your first game with the national team against the U.S.?
AJ: “I think it was in Los Angeles and they won like 3-1. I think they had a good team. I think there were a lot of people in the stands. I don’t remember that much, I just think I had quite a good game and that was like the start of my national team career. I don’t think I remember more than that.”
Was that the first time you’ve been to the U.S.?
AJ: “No, I’d been to New York once. I can’t remember when, but I was like 20 or 21.”