It sounded like music to the ears of some U.S. national team fans when Leeds United midfielder Bradley Johnson stated in a recent interview with SkySports.com that he wanted to play for the United States. Unfortunately for Johnson and U.S. fans, he can't play for the USA any time soon.
Johnson (pictured, left) is not a U.S. citizen and is not close to becoming a U.S. citizen, and therefore is not close to becoming a U.S. national team player, a source with knowldge of Johnson's status told SBI on Wednesday.
Johnson was under the impression that he was eligible to play for the United States because he has an American grandfather, but at present that status will bring him no closer to gaining American citizenship. In Europe, having a grandparent of a certain descent would be enough to secure citizenship and a passport from a variety of countries (as American goalkeeper Dom Cervi did in securing an Italian passport to help him sign with Celtic).
So at present, Johnson is not eligible to play for the United States any time soon. That is, unless he pulled a David Regis and found an American to marry, but even then he would have to wait three years.
What do you think of this news? Disappointed Johnson can't play for the United States? Still wondering where the wing midfield depth will come from for the U.S. team?
Share your thoughts below.
Silly Americans with no clue about English football. The lad would have been an asset to your team. Now get back to the chillie dogs.
Its nothing to do with citizenship.. To enter any FIFA sanctioned competition you have to abide by FIFA rules in all matters including player registration. There are no exception an association may have a policy of not selecting non-nationals but there is nothing in the rules that would prevent Johnson been selected.
Owen Hargreaves was born in Calgary but is an England international and became one having never lived or played in England.
bradley johnson is having a great season for leeds as i have seen him play many times with been a leeds season ticket holder. I think he would of being a decent addition to the USA squad, and to everyone saying it’s only a third division team let’s just remember that aston villa of the premiership have payed 6 million for one of our players. How many MLS players go for 6 million?
MLS Is pure poor football, no wonder most american stars are heading to english football. I actually thought donovan would head over, although chmpionship football would be more his standard.
Agrred,Leeds woud walk the MLS.
if bj ever gets to play for usa these same deluded know nothing yanks will think different,he’s good enough fot prem but leeds utd is one of the biggest clubs in england so holding on to him is not a problem.seriously guys this leeds utd team would win the MLS.
he’s not leeds best player and leeds utd are bigger than any mls club,you got a cheek think other wise,they would go on to win the mls as they are much better than div 3 standard as only losing to liverpool proved.donavan would only make the leeds bench.did’t david sommer play in mls before joining leeds but he is not up to our standards yet so plays for reserves.some of you yanks don’t no much about english football.leeds have a top championship side now and will be there next season and that is the best div 2 in europe.
The reason he is not in a higher division is player loyalty, and the fact he trained in the off season, paid for coaching and has come back outstanding for us, sure we have had offers from higher divisions but a team thats played 12 games, got 30 points from them games and are still unbeaten in the league does not sell its assets.
6 goals from midfield in 12 games.
Think of the better Leagues in the world, the Leagues players want to play in, the English, Italian, Spanish, German. When you hear of someone going to play in the MLS its either the end of their carreer of they have been lured by money and stability.
Leeds United may have slipped through the leagues helped by imposed point deductions, but we have one of the biggest fanbases in the world and even at the 3rd tier of English football can attract 30,000 to a game.
If you have never watched a League 1 match then I suggest you do, If you have never seen Bradley play then I suggest you do.
Johnsons best position is centre midfield but is playing very well on the left side at the moment.
He has bucketloads of potential and could very well have been already playing at a higher level but for the fact that Leeds are a recovering ‘giant’ and are now in a position that they no longer need to sell their best players to balance the books. He is seen as a possible future star by many who watch on a regular basis.
I would also expect Leeds to walk the MLS. They are a massive team with a great history, a good young manager and a worldwide fanbase.
He is a strong header of the ball, and actually a natural centre midfielder, not a winger. He has stood out in League 1. Anyone in the know on European football agrees that England’s 2nd and 3rd tiers of football are far beyond any of Spain, Italy or Germany’s lower tiers.
Leeds are the strongest team in the league, and have a squad of 2nd tier quality. Your basically talking about and english 2nd division midfielder who has plenty of time to develop. He could get on the bench in the premiership also.
You’re all entilted to your opinions, but it helps to actually have seen him play as oppose to getting high and mighty about which league’s better blah blah.
Yes, I’m a brit. But I love US football, and regard your national team as my 2nd national team (even went to a fulham match to watch the contingent).
Stop arguing about standards of leagues and focus on what a player can add to your squad.
Am i missing something here? Wasn’t it the USA coach who approcahed Johnson about playing for the USA, Ok yer he plays for leeds in the 3rd tier of English football, if you dont like the interst in Johnson, surely blame your coach, all Johnson is doing is playing his football for Leeds, vey well i may add, all he has said is that he would play for the USA but only on the back of your coach contacting him. Ok i admit i am a leeds fan, so my view may be biased, but hey ill defend and leeds player, both when there wrong and right!!
Good luck in SA anyway.
Johnson Potentially a better player than Eddie Lewis and ahead of Mike Grella in team selection.
MLS I regard with SPL no better than league 1 and Leeds are on the march with a very talented team of which Johnson is 3rd or 4th best player IMO
Actually, after I asked this I went out and took a look, found the same thing. Really, that sucks.
Also, seeing as another guy has signed in as “Chris” and been quite aggressive, I think I’m going to use this call sign for the time being.
He is 22 there is very few 22 americans talented enough to play in mls, otherwise they would be playing. At 22 there is still room left for growth, no Bradley Johnson is not going to jump into the starting 11 on the USMNT. But, you can’t have enough talent, just look at Argentina. Arguably the best players in the world, but they are just not in form, you never know, someone like him could be a EPL starter in a few years time. You must look beyond ‘NOW’. With young players, the more the better, some will make it big time, most will not. The more players involved with the US NATS the better.
Also in MLS, there is quality, but there are also guys that start in MLS that would not even make the bench in a League One Team. You guys compare MLS the best 2 or 3 players in MLS is not the standard. Yes, Im American. You must admit the average standard in The League in the UK higher than the avg in MLS.
I had a good laugh at all the League One bashing. You can tell none of these people have every watched it or even the Championship for that matter.
I’m sure these are all the same people that think that USA is actually a top 15 football nation given the FIFA rankings.
Oh yeah, good win against Spain. Keep riding that one into the sunset.
Pele had one more chance to break into England League 1, but he missed the 914 bus to Bristol. Bristol manager Al McDaffy said, it’s not likely Pele could have made the squad because Bristol like other League 1 teams were loaded with world class attackers.
Andy, the US has some very good players. These inclode Tim Howard, Clint Dempsy, “Gooch,” DeMerit, Charlie Davies, (hopefully he will make a full recovery)Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, etc. I just don’t rate Donavan.
The USMNT played well in the Confederations Cup. I was pleased to see them do well against Spain and Brazil.
For your information I am not anti-American. I have a son-in-law and grandson that are American. I am merely agaist those who believe that Johnson is not good enough to play for USMNT because he plays in the “third tier” of English football. I would love to see the MLS be a success. There are many things I prefer in MLS to British soccer. I like that you can sit with opposition fans without fear of violence, I like that you can buy food inside stadiums at similar prices to fast food outlets in regular fast-food stores, I like the way that the American public is gaining an understanding of the game, I like the way your players are improving year on year, and I like the seat prices. I just dislike the feeling that America has to be top in everything. You are top dogs in many things. Soccer is not one of those, apart from maybe your ladies’ National Team.
Evidence of your short statement please? I have watched both regularly. Have you?
Beckham apart, the rest on display in the Galaxy v Chivas match were very ordinary. Landon Donovan is no better than many League one forwards. He is available for transfer to a European club as of the end of the MLS season. Beckham has been chased by Milan. Who has chased Donovan. I think you know the answer. (It is NO-ONE.)
For the sake of USA’ youth development including my kid, Could you tell me what you meant by the term ‘technically flawed’.
Really…So Blanco, Angel and Donovan aren’t better then that entire team!? Get real. And stop being a British fanboy. Does your country no justice.
If his grandfather is a citizen, wouldn’t his parent receive a passport, then he could by association. I think this is feasible, this would be easy. Just get the parent to get one, then he could.
How has advocat not commented on this yet?
But Pele did get some nice comments from both Swindon and Dons during a winter tryout.
Pele’s career was severely damaged when Hartpool and Luton turned him down.
I don’t think MLS teams as a whole would dominate League One, but I do think that the MLS players that are good enough for the USMNT would dominate there.
Every Galaxy game I’ve watched, Donovan has outplayed Beckham, and clearly.
Everybody here watches MLS, Premiere League and the Coca Cola Championship and everybody has their opinion.
I’m sure Leeds might be competitive in MLS but that’s not really the point. Most US national team players are playing in first division leagues in
Europe. This guy might have been a useful player but he’s no Jermain Jones.
Completely agree with Will. 2014 would be the goal for any 22 yr. old who is not already involved in qualifying. The guy will be 26/27. If he has really had contact with the USSF then you would have to assume that things could already be in the motion. However, I doubt we will ever hear about Bradley Johnson and the US soccer team again- I am not saying he won’t go on to bigger and better things but his comments seemed very off the cusp and gaining citizenship takes a little effort.
Okay Brit- you are completely right. Donovan will never be better than MLS but will continue to standout against the likes of Mexico, Spain and Brazil. The hatorade on Donovan was so two years ago because that guy had some switched flipped on him since the end of last MLS season because he has dominated nearly every important game he has played in.
Donovan will go back to Europe and play above the second division. I’m willing to bet my first born child on it.
Okay buddy we get it. If you think Donovan wouldn’t make it in League One I think we know where you stand. All US players suck, blah blah. Donovan wasn’t out of his depth against Spain or Brazil now was he?
The two of you show your ignorance. Leeds United, who Johnson is a regular starter for would walk the MLS. They would beat most of the teams without breaking sweat. There is one player in the MLS who would demand a regular starting place at Leeds, and that is David Beckham.
You might think that is just bashing the MLS. I have an advantage over yoyu guys… I have watched plenty of MLS games, and I have also watched plenty of English League One games. (Third tier league that you waffle about with no real knowledge.)
Move out of your comfort zone, broaden your horizons, and see what is right, and not what your blinkered views think is right.
Please tell me what Landon Donovan did in Europe. I will tell you what he did…. Nothing, Zip, Zilch. Totally overrated, and a legend in his own lunchtime. Against Chivas he was totally out of his depth. The difference between the two teams? DAVID BECKHAM. Legend has it that he wants to play in Europe next season. He will not play above second division level. MLS may be his level, but that is English Third Tier level.
This kid, Bradley Johnson is a regular starter for Leeds. Is Grella? No. Johnson will be in the Coca-Cola Championship next season. DeMerit and Simek are in that division. Marcus Hahnemann was there last season. I believe these have done decently for the USMNT in the past.
I watched the LA Galaxy beat Chivas 1-0 on 29 August. Beckham apart, Leeds United are a class ahead of anyone on display that evening. They would take both of those teams on one after another, and beat both comfortably.
Those knocking League One show how little you know, and how parochial you are. There are several teams there that were EPL teams in the last few seasons. Southampton, Norwich City, Charlton Athletic, Leeds United, etc have crowds in excess of 25,000 regularly, and the latter, where Johnson starts, in excess of 30,000. Leeds recently took Liverpool very close, losing only 1-0 in the Carling Cup. Liverpool played most of their stars that night.
no wonder Ives gets frustrated with the “mafia”
he’s just reporting on something that should be interesting, and he gets ripped for it. Well, this gy would be in our top 50 players today and at 22, that would make him a candidate for 2014 that we would want to see. Leeds would be in contention for the MLS crown if they were in MLs so there’s the level he’s playing at.
But turns out he’s not any more American than Big Ben.
I give up.
He is terrible now. He scores garbage goals that any current Nats player would score just as easily, but otherwise jogs around the pitch and coughs up the ball for 90 minutes. I will be extremely glad when he leaves DC United (after this season). His career has just gone down the tubes completely.
I freaked when I read this. I was speed reading the headline and thought it ment Bradley says Jones is not eligible…..3rd div player …not to worried
I personally regard League 1 a touch higher than MLS through and through. If we dropped Holden onto Leeds how would he do and vice versa.. That is the question. Both players will be moving up in leagues soon.. We’ll have to watch it play out.
This guy is definitely worth taking a look at. At 22 he has room to develop a lot more, Leeds United is at the top of League One so will probably be in the Championship next year, and Leeds is a big club who had a massive financial failure earlier in the decade but are rebuilding so most likely they’ll be in the top two divisions in the future. Johnson could definitely be one for the future. MLS is probably on par with League One so Johnson playing in a third division is nothing to worry about (that and as I said earlier Leeds is moving up).