By John Boyle
Eddie Johnson revived his soccer career in Seattle this year, and for his standout debut season with the Sounders, Johnson was named Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year.
Johnson, 28, set a team record with 14 goals this season, his first in MLS since leaving the league for Europe four years ago. Johnson was never able to establish himself playing with several teams in Europe and also fell out of favor with the U.S. National Team. This year, however, he quickly established himself as one of Seattle’s best players, was named to the MLS All Star team, and made his first appearance with the National Team since 2010, helping the U.S. advance in World Cup qualifying.
“I would like the entire Sounders organization for giving me this opportunity in Seattle,” Johnson said in a press release. “This was a fun and exciting year and I share this award with my coaches and teammates for pushing me to be the best player I can be.”
Oddly enough, this is Johnson’s second comeback player of the year award. He also won the award in 2007, his last season in Major League Soccer before heading to Europe.
Sounders midfielder Steve Zakuani, who came back this summer from a broken leg suffered in April of 2011, finished fifth in comeback POY voting. Additionally, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid finished fifth in coach of the year voting. San Jose’s Frank Yallop won coach of the year honors.
Johnson was the second Sounder to receive individual honors in as many days. On Monday, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was named to the MLS Best XI.