Transaction: Oakland Roots Acquire Mikael Tørset Johnsen on Loan from Venezia

Venezia FC has announced that they have loaned Norwegian midfielder Mikael Tørset Johnsen to the Oakland Roots for the 2022 season. Johnsen recently signed a deal through 2024 with the Italian side.

Johnsen becomes the second player loaned in from Venezia after bringing striker Óttar Magnús Karlsson earlier this month. A club source indicates that an Oakland Roots principal owner is also a member of Venezia FC’s ownership group, meaning there is a clear pipeline forming between the Serie A and USL Championship clubs.

According to Transferkmarkt, he currently holds a market value of $55,000 with attacking midfielder as his primary role, while central midfielder and left wing are his secondary options.

At this point in the preseason, it seems doubtful that Johnsen will immediately challenge for a starting role. However, he’ll provide useful depth at attacking midfielder and could slot in behind Jose Hernandez and Charlie Dennis.

Technical Director Jordan Ferrell mentioned earlier this month that midfielder was a final piece to the puzzle he was eying–so an addition to the spot doesn’t come as a big surprise.

“I certainly think that we’re not done… We feel that we have a lot of good talent signed and good talent in place, but I think there still needs to be an addition or two. We feel that we have a strong midfield, but there’s opportunities there to reinforce. I think outside back is something that we feel we have three very good guys there, but we want to make sure we have good depth who can challenge for that position as well. Some good opportunities, and we’re not signing anymore center backs,” said Ferrell.

His highlight reel above shows some technical footwork and good movement in transition. Starting the video at 1:41, Johnsen’s run on the counter seems quite similar to Hernandez. He’s able to keep himself in space, push towards the net, and take a left-footed shot (which was relatively unchallenged).

In the video’s very next two clips, Johnsen unloads a right-footed goal from around 25-yards and then gains an assist when playing a set piece into the area.

Johnsen, 21, began his career with Rosenborg of Norway’s Eliteserien from 2019-2021 after spending 2015-2019 with their youth academy. He made five appearances with the club, including a Europa League cap.

In 2020, Johnsen went on loan to Dutch first-tier organization Ferenoord’s U-21 team and made nine appearances with three goals over two seasons. As for his international career, Johnsen made three appearances for Norway’s Under-21 team in 2019.

Our public roster numbers has Oakland Roots at 23 of 26 applicable spots. The full list includes:

  1. Paul Blanchette
  2. Taylor Bailey
  3. Alejandro Fuenmayor (International)
  4. Emrah Klimenta
  5. Tarek Morad
  6. Max Ornstil
  7. Danny Barbir
  8. Akeem O’Connor-Ward
  9. Edgardo Rito (International)
  10. Memo Diaz
  11. Ariel Mbumba
  12. Joseph Nane (International)
  13. Jose Hernandez (International)
  14. Matias Fissore (International)
  15. Lindo Mfeka (International)
  16. Charlie Dennis
  17. Johnny Rodriguez
  18. Chuy Enriquez
  19. Dariusz Formella (International)
  20. Óttar Magnús Karlsson (International – loan)
  21. Mikael Tørset Johnsen (International – loan)
  22. Juan Carlos Azocar (unofficial) (International)
  23. Javier Mariona (unofficial)

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