Sounders' Eddie Johnson will miss games due to U.S. call-up
Forward could miss two MLS games for the Sounders after being called up by the U.S. men's national team Thursday for a pair of friendlies this month and three World Cup qualifiers in June.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Eddie Johnson refers to CenturyLink Field as his "office," and the Sounders FC forward could be pulling double shifts in the stadium the next few weeks.
Johnson was one of 25 players called up Thursday by the U.S. men's national team for a pair of international friendlies this month and a trio of World Cup qualifiers in June.
One of those qualifiers, a June 11 matchup against Panama, will be here in Seattle.
"It would be a privilege and honor to play in front of my home fans and wear the (USA) shirt," Johnson said after Thursday's practice at CenturyLink.
Johnson won't report to the national team until after Sounders FC's May 26 road game against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The 29-year-old is expected to miss two league games: June 1 at Chivas USA and June 8 versus Vancouver.
The U.S. is set to host Belgium on May 26 in Cleveland and then Germany on June 2 in Washington, D.C., in exhibitions. The other qualifiers are June 7 in Jamaica and June 18 versus Honduras in Sandy, Utah.
Johnson has been able to revive his international career in part with the success he has had with the Sounders, where he has 16 MLS goals since signing before the 2012 season. He has 10 goals for the U.S. in qualifying, tied for second-most in federation history with Brian McBride.
The Sounders could suffer more international absences, as Mario Martinez and Obafemi Martins played for Honduras and Nigeria, respectively, in qualifiers earlier this year. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid wasn't sure as of Thursday if those two would be called up.
Defender DeAndre Yedlin could make the U.S. under-20 World Cup team for this summer's tournament in Turkey. Midfielder Brad Evans could be an option for the U.S. in July's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Schmid: Open Cup draw not ideal
Schmid has gotten in trouble for past criticisms of the U.S. Open Cup draw. So with that in mind, his words were measured when it comes to a possible May 29 trip to Florida in the tournament's third round, which would be sandwiched by league trips on May 26 and June 1 to Los Angeles.
"The only place we could've played is Miami that was further away, unless Puerto Rico is considered part of the Open Cup," Schmid joked.
"Obviously, for us, it presents a unique problem. ... If the NASL Tampa team wins, we go from L.A. to Tampa and then back to L.A., so we have to go cross-country and play three games. And then we have a reserve game, as well, at the end of that. So we'll have four games in a grand total of (eight) days, and we'll have to go cross-country to get it done. It's definitely not optimal."
• Governor Jay Inslee will sign a bill Friday that allows Seahawks and Sounders fans to buy specialty license plates inspired by the teams. Proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations. The plates are expected to be available in January.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @joshuamayers