Tag: Eddie Johnson

Eddie Johnson, USMNT

USMNT striker Eddie Johnson announces retirement

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The professional soccer career of Edward Abraham “Eddie” Johnson is, very sadly, officially over after the 31-year-old former U.S. national team striker announced his retirement on Sunday.

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Forced into retirement by a recently discovered heart condition, Johnson leaves Major League Soccer (most recently D.C. United) having scored 71 goals (24th most in MLS history) and notched 21 assists (92 total goals contributed) in 202 games played. Johnson made 63 appearances for the USMNT, scoring 19 goals along the way.

In an April 2015 report, the Washington Post‘s Steven Goff revealed that Johnson’s heart condition was detected this time last year, just before United’s Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with the New York Red Bulls, whom United coincidentally play in the conference semis beginning on Sunday.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs conference semis preview ]

Johnson’s condition is what’s known as “athlete’s heart syndrome,” which essentially means he has an enlarged heart that rests at a lower rate than normal. Athlete’s heart syndrome has also been known to mask or hide much more serious heart conditions among athletes.

Johnson was a one-of-a-kind player as far as American soccer is concerned — possessing lightning pace to get behind opposing defense, size and strength to hold the ball up with defenders on his back, and the kind of leaping ability that made him favorite to put his head on the end of any cross into the box. An often divisive figure within the American soccer community, Johnson’s bright personality and infectious smile will be sorely missed on the field of play.

Report: Eddie Johnson’s contract voided by MLS, retirement imminent

Eddie Johnson, D.C. United
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Last update we heard on D.C. United and U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson came the sad news that the 31-year-old would likely be forced to retire due to a serious heart condition.

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On Thursday came further word from the Washington Post‘s Steven Goff that Johnson’s Designate Player contract, which was due to pay him more than $600,000 (last year’s total) in 2015, has been voided by Major League Soccer, presumably because they believe the heart condition to have existed before signing his current deal with United prior to the 2014 season, as well as signing with the Seattle Sounders before the 2012 season.

Because Johnson’s contract has been voided, United will be given significant salary cap relief, likely equalling the $436,250 charge for a Designated Player in 2015, which can be used to make additions to the roster in either the current transfer window (closes May 12), or the secondary window (opens July 8).

[ MORE: MLS Team of the Week — Week 9: Oba, Giovinco and the Dallas duo | Player of the week ]

According to Goff’s report, Johnson’s condition is what’s known as “athlete’s heart syndrome,” which essentially means he has an enlarged heart that rests at a lower rate than normal. Athlete’s heart syndrome has also been known to mask or hide much more serious heart conditions among athletes.

If this is indeed the end of Johnson’s career, he leaves the game after 14 years, playing for eight clubs in four countries, scoring 90 goals for his various clubs, and another 19 goals in 63 appearances for the U.S. national team.

Report: Eddie Johnson’s career likely over due to serious heart condition

Eddie Johnson, USMNT
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The professional soccer career of Edward “Eddie”/”EJ” Johnson is “likely over,” according to a report by the Washington Post‘s Steven Goff.

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An ongoing issue involving a serious heart condition has sidelined the 31-year-old D.C. United forward for the entirety of the 2015 preseason and regular season (last appeared for United on Nov. 8, 2014, Eastern Conference semifinals second leg), and according to Goff, the ailment will almost certainly claim the rest of his playing career.

In recent months, Johnson, who joined United as a Designated Player before the 2014 season ($613,333.33 guaranteed compensation, per MLSPU numbers), has seen a number of heart specialists from around the country, in attempt to further understand his condition and ascertain whether or not there is any way to continue playing, according to this March 17 story by Goff.

United head coach Ben Olsen, from the Washington Post:

“It’s a terrible situation for Eddie, but I’ve spoken with Eddie, and Eddie gets it. There is a potential life issue here that has to be focused on and making sure he is not putting himself in any danger to play this sport again. That is all that matters.

“It’s disappointing, but he has had a good career. I stopped when I was around his age. He played at a higher level than I did. He started pro when he was 16-17. That is a heck of a career. He should appreciate those years. I know he is thinking about the next stage in his life, if it comes to that.”

If this is indeed the end of Johnson’s career, he leaves the game after 14 years, playing for eight clubs in four countries, scoring 90 goals for his various clubs, and another 19 goals in 63 appearances for the U.S. national team.

D.C. United 2-1 Chicago Fire: Ben Olsen’s squad retains two-score lead

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One game in 100 words:  D.C. United want to make their case for the Supporters Shield award as the MLS team with the league’s best point total, and against the lowly Chicago Fire, the Black and Reds didn’t have much trouble counting the goals necessary to snag three points that strengthened their first-place advantage in the Eastern Conference. Although Chicago held the majority of possession and equaled D.C. with the amount of shots on target, Frank Yallop’s team couldn’t find the tying goal after Harry Shipp halved the scoreline in the 67th minute. For United, their winning ways haven’t considerably waned. The Fire will look to next season with aims of development to break a postseason spot.

Goals

D.C. United: Chris Pontius 31’, Eddie Johnson 53’

Chicago: Harrison Shipp 67’

Three moments that mattered

31’ — Pontius for United lead — Eddie Johnson waited just a second before delivering a nicely-pinpointed cross to an unmarked Pontius on the doorstep. The midfielder held his position and anticipated the pass, striking his header exactly on target and goalie Kyle Reynish had only a split-second to react. It was Pontius’ first goal of his 2014 MLS year, and gaining the initial score of the match appeared to set United on their determined track to victory.

53’ — Johnson doubles advantage — The turnover from Patrick Ianni didn’t bode well for the Fire at all. Eddie Johnson grabbed hold of the defender’s weak back pass and raced toward frame in a 1-on-1 with Jeff Larentowicz. The American striker quickly dribbled wide to his right side prior to burying a low shot past Reynish to fashion the 2-0 score. Granted, the Fire were able to keep the game within reach due to Shipp’s endeavor, but establishing this lead definitely provided D.C. with the upper hand.

74’ — Rolled off the post by Harry Shipp — Shipp had netted the only goal for the Fire in the 67th minute, but he possessed the opportunity to skip home the game-equalizing score at this point in time. Quincy Amarikwa had muscled through the opposition’s back line. When he was dispossessed near the five-year box, the young American struck the loose ball, which deflected off Taylor Kemp to leak its way to the iron. This instance was Chicago’s last truly threatening attack.

Lineups

D.C. United: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp; Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Chris Pontius (Chris Korb 69’); Eddie Johnson (David Estrada 76’), Fabian Espindola

Chicago: Kyle Reynish; Lovel Palmer, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Larentowicz, Gonzalo Segares (Sanna Nyassi 62’); Alex, Matt Watson, Chris Ritter, Harrison Shipp; Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Patrick Nyarko 62’, Grant Ward 84’), Quincy Amarikwa

Recovery from concussion will keep Eddie Johnson from traveling with D.C. to face Red Bulls

source:MLS Soccer
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A training ground concussion suffered last week is set to cost Eddie Johnson a second game, with the D.C. United forward reportedly ruled out of Wednesday’s trip to Red Bull Arena. According to the league’s web site, Johnson will not travel with the team to Harrison, N.J., with post-concussive symptoms still limiting his involvement with the Eastern Conference’s leaders.

Johnson has not trained with the team since it returned from Vancouver, a game the 30-year-old striker missed after suffering his injury last week. Though United earned a valuable point on the road, the team was also shut out, held to only three shots on target without Johnson and Chris Rolfe (out with a broken arm).

Johnson’s last appearance came 10 days ago against New York, when the former Kansas City and Seattle striker came off the bench to score the final goal in United’s 2-0, Atlantic Cup-sealing win over its rivals.

It was only Johnson’s fifth goal of the season, a total that leaves him fourth on the club, but after a slow start in his first season at RFK, the U.S. international’s started to improve. After going the first eight games of his D.C. career without a goal, Johnson has averaged a goal every 207.8 minutes (though two of his five goals have come from the penalty spot).

While that production still doesn’t match Fabian Espindola’s or Luis Silva’s, it’s scoring that could be missed should Johnson’s concussion symptoms persist. Though his output may not be meeting the hype of his winter arrival, Johnson would still be a useful piece in game like tomorrow’s.