By John Boyle
Prior to last year, Eddie Johnson had been left off of the US national team roster for more than two years, but now the Sounders forward has become a regular on Jurgen Klinsmann’s squads. It’s hardly a surprise then that Johnson was one of 26 players called in by Klinsmann Thursday for training camp in advance of the next round of World Cup qualifiers.
The US plays a pair of friendlies against Belgium (May 29) and Germany (June 2) before playing three World Cup qualifiers, including a June 11 game against Panama at CenturyLink Field. Johnson is expected to miss a pair of Sounders games, June 1 against Chivas USA and June 8 against Vancouver.
“The hard work we have been doing here doesn’t go unnoticed. I thank my teammates and coaches for pushing me week in and week out,” Johnson said in a press release. “To wear the U.S. National Team jersey in front of Seattle fans will be an unbelievable experience for me. I’m honored and privileged to have this opportunity.”
In addition to the qualifier in Seattle, the United States also plays Jamaica on June 7 at National Stadium in Kingston, and hosts Honduras on June 18 in Salt Lake City.
“Eddie is a guy with amazing pace,” Klinsmann said in a release. “He can surprise people going one against one and can create something out of nothing.”
Johnson, 29, has been a regular on Klinsmann’s teams throughout World Cup qualifying going back to last fall when he had two goals and an assist in games against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala. He has appeared in all three hexagonal games for the U.S. so far this year, coming off the bench as a sub. Johnson’s 10 career goals in World Cup qualifiers is tied for second all-time with Brian McBride.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (6):Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)