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Sources: Fabian Johnson in talks with MLS clubs about potential move

U.S. Men’s National Team veteran Fabian Johnson is set to leave Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach this summer, and multiple Major League Soccer clubs are interested in bringing the German-American World Cup veteran to MLS.

Johnson, 32, is out of contract when the current Bundesliga season concludes, and sources have confirmed to SBI that his representatives have been in communication with multiple MLS teams about a potential move.

According to multiple MLS officials with knowledge of those discussions, Johnson is ready to move to the United States for a salary that would make him a Targeted Allocation Money signing. Johnson has had discussions with MLS teams about a TAM deal since 2019, and at no point has sought a Designated Player-level deal during those discussions.

FC Cincinnati and Real Salt Lake both extended offers to Johnson in 2019, but he ultimately stayed in Germany.

Johnson remains on the MLS Allocation List, meaning a team would have to use its MLS Allocation Order spot to sign him. According to MLS records, Los Angeles FC holds the top spot in the allocation order, but sources have confirmed to SBI that LAFC has used its top spot to sign Andy Najar. Inter Miami is next up top have the top spot, and Inter Miami sporting direct Paul McDonough said on Friday that his team now holds the top allocation spot.

A versatile player who has experience playing both as a winger and a fullback on both sides of the field, Johnson would be an attractive addition to any team in need of improved options on the flanks. Johnson has endured his share of injury issues in recent years, which have limited his playing time after having spent several years as a regular starter in the Bundesliga. He has played sparingly for Moenchengladbach this season, and has yet to play since the Bundesliga returned to action as he recovers from his latest muscle injury.

A standout on the 2014 USMNT World Cup squad, Johnson has not played for the United States since 2017, with his last game coming in the team’s World Cup qualifying loss to Costa Rica.

Despite his more than two-year stretch away from the USMNT, Johnson has remained on the MLS allocation order list. MLS has periodically removed players from the Allocation List who have not been part of the national team in recent times. Julian Green and Rubio Rubin were recently removed from the Allocation List and both have played for the United States more recently than Johnson has, though neither play has Johnson’s resume.


  1. Could be a top choice for L.A.F.C. to replace an aging J. Harvey but could be too expensive. You never know anyway.

  2. You don’t really know until you see him at least on the practice field, but I suspect that Johnson could have at least one and probably two more good seasons left in him, IF he stays healthy.

    • The question isn’t could he make a team, it is could he win a championship
      He can’t and probably will cost what guys who do/can cost.
      Where would you put him on LAFC?

      • If he can stay fit he could definitely help a team win a championship, but that is a big if. If you put a fit FJ on any of the playoff teams last year it could have changed a game. As you love to point out mls has great parity, which means one player who is the right fit can make the difference.
        I think LAFC you could play him at RB and let Blackmon move to CB and get rid of Jakovic. He could also play on the wing if they sell Rossi. I could see him as a big upgrade for Union at RB, could be a replacement for Cannon if he’s sold. There are a lot of possibilities if he’s healthy and you can get him at a good price. TAM is pretty ambiguous could be 1 million or $300,000.

      • Appreciate the soccer talk.
        I think that my the point Johnnyrazor, He could help LAFC at right back, he could definitely make a BIG difference for Defending Champions Seattle Sounders there too…..but he isn’t looking for MLS right back money, especially in a season where the money is going to be VERY tight. And he just isn’t good enough to carry a championship MLS team in a position that pays in MLS.
        He should stay put in Germany. There is more overall money and the teams could platoon him or pay him to play right back.

      • I think the time of one player carrying a team to a championship are over. Zlatan could hardly even get LAG to the playoffs. He would be a piece that could help a number of teams if he can stay fit. I’d imagine he’ll likely end up at a team that isn’t really interested in winning but will think he can add interest. His ability to play on either side and at both M and B also makes him interesting.

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