Sounders’ Johnson added to U.S. team

  • By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
  • Monday, October 8, 2012 9:47pm
  • SportsSports

Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson has been called back into training with the United States national team after a two-year absence.

On Monday, U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann included Johnson on the 24-man roster for the final two matches in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

“I’ve spoken many, many times over the last couple of months with (Sounders coach Sigi Schmid), and I think Sigi has done a tremendous job with him,” Klinsmann said in a conference call. “I think Eddie is back in that position because he worked very, very hard for it. If you watch his games and his drive, his hunger that he has, the way he chases defenders and the way he creates for himself and his striking partner chances, the way he also finishes things off: That speaks for him.”

Johnson, 28, first appeared with the national team in 2004, and he played for the 2006 World Cup team. He has scored eight goals in World Cup qualifying.

His last appearance was in 2010, and he admitted Monday there were times when he feared he might never make it back.

“I’d be lying if I said no,” Johnson said by phone from the airport on his way to join the team in Miami. “I think there’s always doubt at some time in your career when things aren’t going well. … I just believe that hard work pays off. I’ve been working very hard in Seattle. I couldn’t ask for a better team to be playing with, a better group of players. My teammates, they push me week in and week out.”

The USA will play at Antigua &Barbuda on Friday and then host Guatemala on Oct. 16 at Kansas City, Kan.

“We expect two difficult games where the opponent will probably play more defensively, so we really need to be strong in the air,” Klinsmann said. “That’s why we brought in Eddie and Alan (Gordon): two guys who are good in the air and can lay balls off.”

Two other Sounders also have departed for duty with their national teams: defender Adam Johansson (Sweden) and midfielder Mario Martinez (Honduras)

Schmid indicated Johnson and Martinez could make it back in time for the Sounders’ next MLS match: Oct. 17, when Real Salt Lake visits CenturyLink Field.

More in Sports

Poll: How do you feel about the Seahawks’ anthem decision?

Seattle stayed in the locker room during the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game.

Seahawks lose 33-27 as defense wilts in the Tennessee heat

The Titans scored 21 points in the third quarter against a gassed Seahawks defense.

Poll: Help us plan this week’s high school football coverage

This week The Herald covers HS football at Glacier Peak/Monroe, and Jackson/Lake… Continue reading

Much discussion went into ‘revolutionary’ pregame protest

The Seahawks and the Titans stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem.

Richard Sherman and the Seahawks defense both melt down

Seattle’s standout cornerback was hit with three penalties on the same play.

Grading the Seahawks’ 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans

Seattle’s offense and defense each played well — for a half.

Silvertips bounce back, beat the Tri-City Americans 4-1

Tips give new head coach Dennis Williams his first WHL win a day after dropping their season opener

Mariners officially eliminated from the AL wild-card race

A 4-2 loss to the Indians assures Seattle will miss the playoffs for the 16th straight season

Video: 1970 Snohomish boys basketball team wins state

The Snohomish H.S. squad is about to be inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame.

Most Read