Seattle, Washington (December 28, 2018) — The Seattle Sounders FC have added depth to their center back slot.
On Friday afternoon, the club announced the acquisition of Jonathan Campbell, obtaining him from the Chicago Fire. Campbell joins fellow center backs Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee and Román Torres on the roster.
Seattle Sounders FC obtain center back Jonathan Campbell from Chicago
Last season, Marshall and Kim primarily started together.
Campbell’s experience includes three seasons with the Chicago Fire. He was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. His first season was his best, which included 30 starts and 33 appearances. He scored his first goal in his rookie season, totaling 2,823 minutes.
His minutes decreased the following two years. In 2017, Campbell made eight starts and 24 appearances, totaling 1,009 minutes. This past year, the drop-off in minutes wasn’t large. Instead, in 1,005 minutes, Campbell made 11 starts and 15 appearances. Throughout three seasons, Campbell recorded two assists.
Garth Lagerwey, Sounders general manager and president of soccer, called Campbell a “young, talented player,” who can provide depth on defense.
“We are looking forward to bringing him into camp and seeing how he fits into our group,” Lagerwey said.
However, Campbell’s former club had nothing but positive compliments toward their former defender. In addition to on-the-pitch play, Nelson Rodriguez, Chicago Fire president and general manager, complimented Campbell’s community endeavors.
“We were glad to find a solution that he welcomed and that also provided a return to the club,” Rodriguez said. We wish Jonathan the very best of luck.”
With the deal, the Fire have received a fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
Analysis: Is this it for Román Torres?
There’s no secret that Torres lost playing time in 2018.
With the emergence of Kim Kee-hee, Torres dropped in significant playing time. Torres went from featuring in 23 matches in 2017, to only making his way on the pitch 13 times in 2018. He started seven matches, recording 688 total minutes.
Torres was rumored to sign a new contract last season, but it was never confirmed. Instead, when the Sounders made initial off-season plans this year, Torres was listed as under contract already for 2019.
However, with the addition of Campbell, don’t expect to see him much on the pitch. He’ll likely have a role like he did toward the end of the last season, essentially coaching from the sidelines. However, that’s not a lesser role for Torres, as he was not only vocal toward defensive players, but offensive as well.
Torres is a veteran presence, no matter what. He’s been with the Sounders since 2016 and has left his mark with his athletic skills and vocal leadership. However, at 32-years-old, he isn’t slowing down. There could be a chance that Torres could request a trade — or even a loan.
Either way, Campbell and Torres likely won’t be the players unseating the starting spot from Kim and Marshall.
I could not ask for a better club to join! Thank you to Seattle Sounders, I cant wait to give it my all for the club and city! https://t.co/IoTiDX59oA
— Jonathan Campbell (@JonnyCampbell16) December 28, 2018