Americans Abroad

Report: Johnson let go by Puebla due to lack of fitness

EddieJohnsonFulham (ISIPhotos.com)

Eddie Johnson's quest to revive his playing career appears to have hit a major snag after he was reportedly dumped by Mexican club Puebla because he was out of shape.

According to Medio Tiempo, Johnson showed up for Puebla training camp before the New Year, but he failed to meet the team's expectations of fitness and sharpness and was let go.

Johnson has been out of action for eight months, and has made news for the wrong reasons for a second straight time. Last summer, Johnson made headlines when he backed out of a deal to sign with MLS.

The first signs that something might be wrong with Johnson's move to Puebla came last week, when manager Juan Carlos Osorio stated in an interview that the Johnson deal was not complete, and that he might not wind up being signed.

Where the 27-year-old striker will turn now remains to be seen. With Europe looking like a distant memory, and having already burned a bridge with MLS, Johnson will likely have to take his chances playing in a lower division to rejuvenate a career that is quickly turning into a disaster, and a cautionary tale.

  • Thebumswillalwayslose

    Methinks there might be a little more to this story than just Eddie being out of shape. There are too many things that don’t compute.

    First, you have EJ’s camp AND the President of Puebla publicly announcing this, both sides making it seem like EJ had put pen to paper and this was a done deal. Then Osorio pipes up and says “No no, it’s not a done deal yet”. At the same time, you’ve got EJ saying “I’m just as fast and stronger and as good a player as I’ve ever been”, and then like 4 days after he shows up at camp he’s cut for “lack of fitness and pace”. I know pro athletes tend not to be completely objective when it comes to that kind of stuff, but there’s a HUGE disconnect there.

    To be honest, it seems like this deal was done without Osorio being completely on board and this was his way of getting out of a deal he never really wanted in the first place.

    OR, the other possibility is that EJ really just is THAT out of shape, in which case….. I guess there’s always the indoor league…


  • chris

    You just compared Eddie Johnson to Rivaldo, and you’re blaming other people for not watching games? Hahaha They’re literally nothing alike at all.


  • Award

    Uhm , Caleb Porter also said that Adu was pure quality, and went on to praise his technical skill. Gettign Fit is easy, the technical skill Adu has is inherited adn worked on in the streets. There is a reason he is training with Rayo Vallecano. so he can regain his fitness.


  • prada08

    MLS needs to sign johnson to a contract and ship off to a brazilan club to team to train until the season the mls pre-season starts. Maybe he can get fit and get that swagger back!


  • dutchtwista

    quite likely he needs a therapist/sports shrink to help him achieve some clarity and realism about this (last?) phase of life as a pro athlete and help him get a grip on his unraveling personal life. EJ came a long way just to get a pro soccer deal in the first place and it’s obvious no one really close to him – family, agency, has been helpful in managing the pressure and responsibility that brings. US fans like to treat him like a punching bag, but bottom line he’s human being struggling to just grow up.


  • Colin

    I know a guy who knows stuff, and he said that not only was EJ out of shape, but he left the staff at Puebla wondering if he had ever kicked a soccer ball before.


  • marco

    My guess is, from reports/comments at camp 1, that if Freddy is not fit by camp 2, he’s dropped. Perhaps he’ll turn it around by then.


  • marco

    “Gettign Fit is easy,”
    Obviously staying fit is not an automatic with many players, so it is never easy. That’s what this article is about.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Are you sure they’d require that seeing as he went through a MLS allocation draft “unscathed” already? Doesn’t that make him a free agent?


  • joe blow

    Same huge disconnect when he was supposed to sign with MLS last year. It looks like he has a sh*t agent.


  • SkiFast!

    A-League… as in the old name for the second divison in the US, or the top-flight in Australia?


  • The Imperative Voice

    Australia. Similar league to MLS or K-league or other upstarts, maybe a little weaker, still first division, OK salary cap, provision for marquee players off cap. It’s either that or he takes a serious MLS salary haircut, drops down to the minors, or winds up in random Europe. Mexico suggests he doesn’t want the humbleness lesson of caving to American teams, so some modest foreign league? Maybe it’s that Landon hinted he found Australia interesting but beyond a random Kiwi or Aussie or Fred going back, there’s not much traffic in MLS players there. You’d think our decent work ethic and skill and toughness would play there, although EJ is definitely not the poster boy for those qualities.

    I just can’t see him signing here unless he gets super desperate, even if he appears to be running his career into an iceberg like the Titanic by being so stubborn, arrogant, and greedy. And though people will suggest there’s no proof he’s that, the fact that he wanted too much for anyone in MLS to nibble on an international player wrapped up in a bow — overrated or not — suggests he lacks the Nguyen-esque humility to come back here and lunchpail it for a reasonable salary until he proves himself again.


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