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Johnson continues recent resurgence with All-Star Game winner



CHESTER, Pa. — At the start of 2012, many people had written Eddie Johnson off. After all, he had languished for several years in Europe, moving from club to club.

But after returning to MLS with the Seattle Sounders, Johnson has found his form once again, and he proved that Wednesday night when he delivered a stoppage time winner as the MLS All-Stars defeated European champions Chelsea, 3-2, at PPL Park.

For Johnson, it was a moment he'll never forget, having struggled mightily in Europe over the last four years. Most of that time was spent at Fulham, where he failed to score in 19 league appearances. Johnson also spent time on loan at Cardiff City, Aris FC, and Preston North End.

But after failing to settle at any of those clubs, he returned to his home country, and he has finally found success. That's why he was picked to play in the All-Star Game by Ben Olsen, and in the end Johnson repaid him for the selection with the late goal.

"He was chomping at the bit," said Olsen. "He wanted to get in there and we saw holes because they were getting a bit leggy. It's nice to see, I've always known Eddie. He's a good guy who has had ups and downs. I hope he continues to succeed and he's had a great year."

After replacing Chris Wondolowski in the 60th minute, Johnson began using his speed to try and get in behind the Chelsea defense. He was on the field when Chris Pontius scored an equalizer in the 73rd minute, and it was Johnson's ability to stretch the field that allowed David Beckham to find an open Dwayne De Rosario, who eventually dished it to Pontius for the goal.

When the game entered stoppage time at 2-2 and appeared to be headed to penalty kicks, Johnson unleashed a shot that deflected off Chelsea defender David Luiz, and it got past Ross Turnbull to seal a dramatic win for the All-Stars.

But while Johnson may once again be showing the form that once made him one of the league's top young players, he doesn't think about proving anything to other people. His goal on Wednesday night was more about showing why he deserved a place on the team.

"That's what coach brought me here for," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to pay him back for selecting me to the team. I'm not really trying to prove anything to doubters. I wanted to prove it to myself. This year I want to challenge myself and try to be as consistent as I can. That’s the one thing I look back at my career and I haven't been able to really be consistent."

Johnson's dramatic winner can only serve to boost his confidence as he continues a 2012 campaign that has seen him score eight goals in 17 games for Seattle. He'll look to keep it up on Saturday, when the Sounders hit the road to face the Colorado Rapids.


  1. “re-enter the US Striker debate” really???

    Gomez, Altidore, Boyd-then Johnson…really? Let’s just leave Donvan or Dempsey out of the discussion? I would take Wondo or Pontius because of there work rate and desire…hell I would even take Cooper over Johnson. Having said this Wondo, Pontius, Cooper or Johnson would ever make an impact…outside the lower level CONCACAF qualifiers.

    The not ready for prime time players…shouldn’t be in a serious discussion about the future of the men’s national team.

  2. Never loved Eddie Johnson’s work rate in the past, but he’s really performed for Seattle, and he’s definitely in the upper echelon of MLS strikers, at a bargain pay rate. He’s definitely still dangerous, and even if he doesn’t score defenders have to be aware of him at all times, opening up opportunities for other plays (see All Star Game, Pontius goal).
    I don’t care what he did in Europe–we’ve seen a number of good Americans struggle in Europe, for a whole host of reasons not necessarily related to on field performance. He’s a good MLS striker, and if he continues to play hard and score with the Sounders, he’ll probably re-enter the US Striker debate. It’s not as if anybody’s really won that job outright, and a matured Eddie Johnson is worth a look

  3. Struggled? Why because he was playing right wing and PNE accumulated the most points they had all season during his run of 10 starts…

    He was up and down there but was nowhere near awful… They were also in the Championship too at the time… not league 1


  4. Go back and look at the play… he could not have gone ahead of Pontius, he would have been offside… he held up to stay even with the ball and the ball Pontius played was not even close to being near a diving header… it was 5-6 yards ahead of EJ…

    Stop listening to what Twellman was telling you.. he would not have gotten it either.. or he would have run offside like he always did..

  5. First… off sopt going by what Taylor Twellman was telling you on TV… Johnson could have gotten nowhere near Pontius’ cross with running offsides… Watch it again.. He was trying to stay even with the ball when Pontius delivered it and it was 5-6 yards ahead of him with very little curl back to the penalty spot…

    People honestly just want to hate on Eddie because it is easy to when everyone has for so long…

    If you actually watch Seattle this year, you will see a player that holds the ball up well, works hard off the ball and scores important goals…


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