After struggling to find consistency during his three years playing in Europe, Johnson returned to MLS this season and scored 14 goals in 28 games. The forward also won comeback player of the year honors in 2007.
Johnson narrowly beat out D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius in voting by media, MLS players and club management. San Jose forward Alan Gordon was the other finalist.
Also Tuesday, MLS announced that Frank Yallop of the San Jose Earthquakes has been named coach of the year.
After the Earthquakes finished with the 14th-best record out of 18 teams in 2011, they went 19-6-9 this season to lead MLS. Yallop won over fellow finalists Ben Olsen of D.C United and Peter Vermes of Sporting Kansas City.
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