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Hoffenheim boss reveals Johnson will leave club this summer

Fabian Johnson

Photo by Jose L Argueta/

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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!

      • 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.

  4. 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.


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