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Hoffenheim boss reveals Johnson will leave club this summer

Fabian Johnson

Photo by Jose L Argueta/ISIPhotos.com

U.S. National team defender/midfielder Fabian Johnson will be an important player for Jurgen Klinsmann at this summer’s World Cup, where he will also be looking to showcase his talents for potential suitors.

Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol revealed on Thursday that Johnson has informed the club that he won’t be re-signing, and will let his contract expire, making him a free agent this summer.

The timing could prove to be a windfall for a player Klinsmann has called one of the best fullbacks in the Bundesliga. Johnson has been a regular starter for Hoffenheim for the past two years, though injuries have cost him playing time this season.

Though there are no clear indications of just where Johnson might wind up, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hertha Berlin have been mentioned as possible destinations.

Johnson would be the second U.S. national team player to leave Hoffenheim in the past year after Danny Williams left the club to sign with English League championship side Reading FC. American youngsters Joe Gyau and Russell Canouse are still on the books with the Bundesliga side.

What do you think of this development? Where would you like to see Johnson wind up? See him going to the English Premier League? Think joining a bigger German club makes more sense?

Share your thoughts below.

47 comments
      • beto

        Of course, Danny Williams and T Boyd would be more ideal imo. I could see those two really lifting a team.

        Like

      • Maykol

        Id rather see him perform at the highest level he can possibly play at

        Like

      • Eddie Johnson

        I’d rather see the MLS become the “highest level he can possibly play at” …

        Like

      • Maykol

        Well thats definitely not gonna be during fabian johnsons playing career.

        Like

      • Anthony

        OMG! Not this again. Again, you want your best players playing against the best competition. Dempsey, I would not be worried about because this is his last world cup and he is not getting worse in 6 months.

        However, FJ will be around for ’14 and ’18 and can improve. Please, FJ, play for the best team in the best league where you can possibly get regular playing time. While I am a big MLS fan, it IS NOT here. For MLS to improve and compete with the top 5, we would CONSERVATIVELY need at least 5 better players per team — that’s 100 players. 1 or 10 means NOTHING.

        Like

      • BobbyB

        Dempsey has dropped off considerably since going to MLS. Hopefully he will get back to his previous Fulham form as his current form is not good enough to help carry the team.

        Like

  • beto

    Take his talents to the …

    … Pacific NW?
    … Another bundesliga team?
    … Spain?, Italy?
    … NY?

    Hopefully a big WC highlight by a couple of big games nuetralizing Asamoha Gyan, Nani and Toni Kroos & Müller boost his stock.

    Like

  • Wispy

    Is it really a good idea for FJ to make this announcement now? I mean, if I’m Gisdol, I wouldn’t exactly start FJ religiously if I knew I had to start developing someone else to take his place. I guess Hoffenheim are only 4 points above the drop zone and need results so maybe that will help ensure he gets playing time, but I think there’s a good chance he does a fair amount of sitting on the bench going into World Cup. Am I missing something here?

    Like

      • Wispy

        Right, but I assumed FJ made it clear to his coach — that’s what I meant.

        Like

      • bryan

        well yeah, that’s pretty standard. these decisions are made early to give time for both parties involved time to find a new club and find a replacement. the coach just decided to make it public.

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      • malkin

        Yes, Gisdol revealed that Johnson announced to the club he won’t be returning.

        Like

    • froboy

      If you haven’t signed a new deal at this point it becomes obvious to them you aren’t resigning

      Like

      • Wispy

        Not necessarily. There’s still plenty of time left in this season; teams and players often take until the last minute to hammer out details. FJ can entertain offers from other teams while still negotiating in earnest with Hoffenheim — unless there’s some sort of behind-the-scenes falling out we don’t know about.

        Like

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper"

      The reason he will not sit is because of the reasons you mentioned. Relegation + Current Skill/Form + an UNprepared back up has certainly emboldened Fab to make it clear where he is in relation to his long term commitment to Hoff. If he leaves the Bundes Liga I hope that he can get a look in Italy or Spain.

      Like

  • AcidBurn

    Movin’ on up…to the top half of the Bundesliga table…
    To a de-luxe club in contention for CL and Europa places…

    This is good. Extra motivation to light it up at the WC. If he shuts down the Portuguese and German wingers, will definitely be noticed.

    Like

    • Increase0

      He has always struck me as more of a wing back type but he can also play D as we all have noticed. I think he should stay in the Bundesliga, they like to counter attack and the man knows how to do it.

      Like

      • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper"

        True. I always think of him as a left sided Maicon. Not in body type or much of the physical stuff but in his mental approach to being a 2 sided player that has to Defend first and bust hump to join the attack as quickly and as often as possible.

        Like

    • Josh D

      Weird that the article stats that Klinsi says he’s one of the best sidebacks in the league when Klinsi plays him mostly on the wings. Lost in translation?

      FJ at LB; Donovan at LW please!

      Like

      • danny

        I think the U.S. really needs his atheleticism and consistency as a LW. Donovan should play as the second striker. Given the US’s play especially against good teams, I think he would end up stuck defending most of the time against tough opposition and we lose out on his attacking abilities. He has also show that he can pass well and play together with multiple different U.S. attacking players, so he helps bring a rythm and consistency to the attack. I think these are some of the reason’s Klinsman really wants him as a winger. Ideally, I see an attack that’s Jozy, Donovan, Zusi, FJ, Jones and MB. Or if Donovan is not playing well, replace with Demsey or if Zusi not, then replace with Donovan.

        Like

  • compuser

    Fj is the best dribbler other than donovan on the usa team. If galdbach can make champions league next season, thats where he should go

    Like

      • AcidBurn

        You forgot Freddy Adu as the best pure dribbler on the usa team…ka-ching!

        Like

      • GW

        Freddy is not “on” the usa team.

        He is eliglible but so are, for example, Kenny Cooper and Conor Casey but they aren’t “on ” the team either.

        JK does look like he will be calling any of them any time soon.

        Like

  • Nate Dollars

    yo ives!

    noticed your byline around here more lately. nice to see; this is still the first site i go to every day.

    Like

  • bryan

    this is a good call on his part. he has interested from much better Bundesliga teams and now he won’t be hand cuffed by a transfer fee. obviously ‘Gladbach and Hertha Berlin are interested, but i can’t wait to see who else is interested now that he is officially on the market as a free agent.

    and yes, while it would be cool to see him in MLS, i hope he stays in Europe. which i’m sure he will.

    Like

  • MikeG

    Stay out of the Premier League. Bundesliga or Serie A. Too many US players wasting away in the Premier League.

    Like

  • Pingback: Report: F. Johnson to sign with Moenchengladbach this offseason | Soccer By Ives

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