2012 newsmakers: Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson revived his career with Sounders FC, scoring a franchise-record 14 goals. He says he can't wait to start the 2013 season.
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Moments after Sounders FC's season-ending playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy, Eddie Johnson wasn't ready for soccer to be over.
"I had eight months off before this season, so I don't really want a break," he said. "I've got a lot of soccer left in me."
Johnson could be forgiven for feeling that way. In 2012, the 28-year-old had one of the great career revivals in American soccer.
To start the year, Johnson had been without a team since spring 2011, and a move to Mexico's Puebla FC had just fallen through. This all came on the heels of four tough seasons in Europe, where Johnson bounced around on loan.
Fortunes changed when the maligned forward signed with MLS in February and was acquired by Seattle in a trade.
Some Sounders fans jeered the move, but Johnson quieted his critics. His 14 goals set a franchise record for a season. He scored a dramatic winner in the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea FC. He also made a heroic return to the U.S. national team and helped World Cup qualifying hopes with two vital goals at Antigua & Barbuda.
The Sounders have exercised their option on Johnson's contract for 2013, and the forward is reportedly due $150,000.
"Coming in and being the new guy is difficult," Johnson said. "Sometimes it takes you a season to adapt ... but we had a good group of guys, and they have been spot on with me from Day 1. It was a pleasure to work with these guys, and I look forward to it next season."