Sounders FC announced its first offseason move with the signing of 25-year-old defender Jonathan Campbell from the Chicago Fire in exchange for the clubs natural Fourth Round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
The signing of Campbell will bring depth to a back line that is experienced, aging and sustained some injuries in 2018. MLS three-time defender of the year ( 2008, 2009, 2014,) Chad Marshall missed the Sounders last playoff game against the Portland Timbers due to a torn meniscus that required surgery. While the surgery was successful and Marshall is one the best defenders in league history, the reality is that he cannot play forever.
Roman Torres and Kim Kee-hee were the center-back starters for the home playoff loss to the Portland Timbers in the deciding game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals series. The 32-year-old Torres was hobbled the first half of the season due to a hamstring injury that saw the Panamanian Captain start seven of the thirteen games he participated in. Torres never seemed to have found his groove as he did in 2017 when started 21 of the 23 games he played.
Like Torres, Kim was hobbled with an early season injury ( calf muscle strain) that saw him miss early season action. Kim was able to recover from the injury and started 28 regulars season games and two postseason matches against the Timbers in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
While young and energetic Campbell is is relatively inexperienced having played 72 MLS regular-season appearances for the Fire after being selected 12th overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of North Carolina. In 2016, Campbell started 30 of 33 appearances as a rookie, tallying one goal and one assist and in 2017 he appeared in 24 matches with eight starts.
“Jonathan is a young, talented player who we think can provide some depth for us heading into 2019,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “We are looking forward to bringing him into camp and seeing how he fits into our group
In 2018 Campbell started in 11 of the 15 appearances in his final season with the Fire.