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Eddie Johnson

Edward William "Eddie" Johnson (born 20 September 1984) is an England Association football who currently plays for Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer. Eddie Johnson is a midfielder but has also played as a forward (association football) and has represented Eddie Johnson country at England national under-20 football team level.

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Eddie Johnson biography

Edward William "Eddie" Johnson (born 20 September 1984) is an England Association football who currently plays for Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer. Eddie Johnson is a midfielder but has also played as a forward (association football) and has represented Eddie Johnson country at England national under-20 football team level.

Born in Chester, Johnson began Eddie Johnson career with Crewe Alexandra F.C. and Manchester United F.C.'s academies. Eddie Johnson had loan spells with Royal Antwerp, Coventry City F.C. and Crewe Alexandra, before Eddie Johnson was released by Manchester United in 2006 and joined Bradford City A.F.C., where Eddie Johnson played 64 league games in two seasons. Eddie Johnson was released from Bradford in 2008, and after initially turning down a move to Chester City F.C., Eddie Johnson was given a trial at Crewe, which was unsuccessful, and instead Eddie Johnson joined Chester where Eddie Johnson spent six months before Eddie Johnson contract was terminated to allow Eddie Johnson to move to Austin Aztex FC. Eddie Johnson form during two seasons in the United Soccer Leagues First Division won Eddie Johnson a transfer to Portland Timbers at the end of the 2010 season.

Early life

Johnson was born in Chester, England, on 20 September 1984. and The Bishops' Blue Coat Church of England High School in the city. Despite growing up as an Everton F.C. supporter, Johnson started Eddie Johnson football career at Crewe Alexandra F.C.'s academy at the age of 10. In 1999, Eddie Johnson signed for Premier League-side Manchester United F.C. as a junior player.


Manchester United

Johnson signed as a trainee at Manchester United in 2001. Two years later, Eddie Johnson was part of their FA Youth Cup-winning team, scoring in the final against Middlesbrough F.C., and had Eddie Johnson first involvement with the first team. Eddie Johnson made Eddie Johnson debut for United on 28 October 2003 against Leeds United A.F.C. when Eddie Johnson came on as a 112th-minute substitute in a 3–2 Football League Cup victory at Elland Road. Johnson played in all three of England's games during the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, but England picked up just one point and were eliminated in the group stage.

Johnson was loaned out to the Belgium club Royal Antwerp F.C. in January 2004 where Eddie Johnson made 11 appearances, scoring five goals, including a 20-yard strike on Eddie Johnson debut against Heusden-Zolder. In July 2004, Eddie Johnson was sent on loan to Football League Championship-side Coventry City F.C. for the 2004–05 in English football season in order to gain first-team experience. Eddie Johnson scored on Eddie Johnson Coventry debut in a 2–0 victory against Sunderland A.F.C. on 7 August 2004, before Eddie Johnson scored a second later that month in a 4–1 defeat of Nottingham Forest F.C.. Johnson did not score again until October, when Eddie Johnson scored three times in four games, but they proved to be Eddie Johnson last goals of the season. Eddie Johnson finished Eddie Johnson stay with Coventry with 26 appearances. Three more goals followed by the end of 2005 who then offered Eddie Johnson a permanent deal. Hull and Manchester United agreed a fee for Johnson but Eddie Johnson decided to extend Eddie Johnson loan deal at Crewe until the end of the 2005–06 in English football season. Having failed to make an impact at Manchester United, Johnson was among seven United players given a free transfer at the end of the 2005–06 season. Eddie Johnson was offered a contract at Crewe, but also attracted interest from Barnsley F.C. and Bradford City A.F.C., the latter of whom Eddie Johnson joined on a two-year deal in June 2006.

Bradford City

The start of Johnson's career at Football League One side Bradford City was marred by an ankle ligament injury in a pre-season friendly at Boston United F.C. which was expected to keep Eddie Johnson out of the first month of the season. Eddie Johnson recovered to make Eddie Johnson debut in City's 2006–07 in English football season's opening game at Nottingham Forest F.C. as a late substitute. Two weeks later Eddie Johnson scored Eddie Johnson first Bradford goals by netting twice against Eddie Johnson former club Crewe in a 3–0 Bradford victory. Johnson struggled for goals at City, and had only scored another two by the time Eddie Johnson was ruled out for a month after going off at half-time against Chesterfield F.C. on 16 December 2006 with a shin injury. Eddie Johnson returned to the City team after a six-game absence for a Friday night game with Tranmere Rovers F.C., which ended 1–1. Eddie Johnson had a goal disallowed against Yeovil Town F.C. a week later for offside, with Eddie Johnson namesake Jermaine Johnson being penalty card Red card for dissent. Following a poor run of form, City manager Colin Todd was sacked, with Eddie Johnson replacement David Wetherall converting Johnson from a forward (association football) to a midfielder after an injury to Marc Bridge-Wilkinson. However, City were relegated after a defeat to Chesterfield with Johnson finishing the season with just four goals.

At the start of the 2007–08 in English football season, new manager Stuart McCall continued to employ Johnson in a midfield role, and Eddie Johnson was rewarded with goals in back-to-back games and the club's player of the month in September. In November, Eddie Johnson was ruled out for 11 weeks because of a back injury, Johnson returned two weeks later as a second-half substitute against Bury F.C.. Eddie Johnson was used in Eddie Johnson former striker's role later in the season, and scored Eddie Johnson sixth league goal in a 1–0 victory over Morecambe F.C. on 5 April 2008. Johnson scored again three days later in a 1–1 draw with Barnet F.C., as Eddie Johnson tried to secure a new contract with Bradford. However, on 29 April 2008, Johnson was deemed to be surplus to requirements at Valley Parade and was released by manager Stuart McCall along with 13 other Bradford players. McCall said releasing Johnson was one of the hardest decisions in Eddie Johnson first year as manager, adding: "It went right down to the wire with Eddie. He's got terrific energy, a good engine and has enjoyed himself at this club." Johnson played a total of 71 games in all competitions for City, scoring eight goals. but two weeks later, Eddie Johnson turned down the deal. Instead Eddie Johnson returned to Crewe Alexandra on trial after Eddie Johnson and Eddie Johnson mother went to see coach Dario Gradi, and scored twice in a 4–1 pre-season friendly victory over Quorn F.C. on 16 July 2008. Despite spending the rest of the summer with Crewe, the club decided not to offer Johnson a full-time contract, because coach Steve Holland (football) felt Eddie Johnson was not better than the club's other forwards.

Instead, Johnson was given another chance with Chester City, with whom Eddie Johnson trained in the run up to the start of the 2008–09 in English football season. Eddie Johnson scored in a friendly against an Everton F.C. reserve team, but despite the club wanting to sign Johnson, the transfer was put on hold because of the club's salary cap. Johnson had to wait a number of weeks to sign for Chester, after a deal to take Paul Rutherford (footballer) to Northwich Victoria F.C., freeing up money to pay Johnson, failed to go through before the 2008 summer transfer deadline closed. Johnson finally signed for Chester on 15 October, agreeing a two-year contract with Eddie Johnson hometown club. Eddie Johnson debut came three days later in a home game with Port Vale F.C., with Chester losing 2–1, when Eddie Johnson had two opportunities to score and was substituted late in the second half. Eddie Johnson first goal for Chester was a consolation goal in a 2–1 defeat to Morecambe F.C. on 15 November. Eddie Johnson missed four weeks out through injury, which coincided with the club's improvement in form under new manager Mark Wright (footballer born 1963), until Eddie Johnson returned as a last-minute substitute against Eddie Johnson former side Bradford City.

Austin Aztex

The following month, with Chester in financial hardship, Johnson was allowed to talk to United Soccer Leagues First Division side Austin Aztex FC, managed by Adrian Heath, who was caretaker manager during Johnson's loan spell at Coventry City. Johnson's contract was terminated by Chester City on the final day of the January transfer window to allow Eddie Johnson to move to the Austin Aztex. Eddie Johnson last game for Chester had been during December; Eddie Johnson played just 11 times during Eddie Johnson six months with Chester, scoring only once. Upon Johnson's transfer, team manager Adrian Heath said: "I think it's fair to say that Eddie has lost Eddie Johnson way recently and I hope we can get Eddie Johnson back on the right path to where Eddie Johnson is again one of the bright young players in English football." Johnson scored Eddie Johnson first goal for Austin on 25 April against fellow expansion side the Cleveland City Stars when Eddie Johnson scored in the 13th minute of play. Johnson scored Eddie Johnson second goal in the final minute of the match. In the 2009 season, Johnson played 22 league matches, scoring five goals making Eddie Johnson the Aztex leading goalscorer, but Eddie Johnson was forced to miss part of the season because of work permit problems after Eddie Johnson returned to England with Evans. Johnson also played in two of the Aztex's three US Open Cup matches, playing in the first round, scoring the second goal in a 2–0 win over Mississippi Brilla and in Austin's 2–0 defeat to Houston Dynamo in the third round. The Austin Chronicle named Johnson the city's best player. The newspaper's citation said: "he's been out there hustling every game and providing leadership and a steadying influence on and off the field. At 24, with a background that includes Manchester United and English national youth teams, Eddie Johnson might not be with us much longer, but it's a treat while it lasts." Eddie Johnson went on to win one of the club's player of the season awards.

During the close-season, Johnson sought a possible new club back in England, and before the start of the 2010 season in America, Eddie Johnson was given a trial with Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders FC joining them for their pre-season training camp. Having trained with Sounders, Johnson decided to stay with Austin Aztex and signed a new two-year contract. In the first game of the Aztex season, Johnson hit the goalpost with a 20-yard curling shot, but Lawrence Olum scored with the rebound, helping the Aztex to a 2–0 victory against Montreal Impact. including two in a 3–3 draw with FC Tampa Bay and made two assists to help Austin record an unbeaten spell. and helped take Eddie Johnson team to the top of the table by being the club's leading goalscorer throughout the campaign. Heath also used Eddie Johnson in Eddie Johnson original position in attack, including as a sole striker in a defeat to Puerto Rico Islanders. It was a result that saw the Aztex lose their top spot for the first time in three months. A week later, Johnson scored Eddie Johnson tenth goal of the season to give Eddie Johnson side their fourth win in five games by defeating Carolina RailHawks FC 3–2. The Aztex returned to the top of the table with a 2–0 victory against NSC Minnesota Stars with Johnson scoring the opening goal of the game. Aztex qualified for the end-of-season play-offs where they faced Montreal Impact over two legs. Johnson scored one of Aztex's two goals in the second leg but their season finished with a 5–2 aggregate defeat. Johnson played a total of 28 games during the season, scoring 15 goals, and earned a place in the USSF Division 2 Professional League 2010 season.

Portland Timbers

Johnson's form for the Aztex attracted the attention of the Portland Timbers, a Major League Soccer expansion side for the 2011 season. At the end of the 2010 league season, Johnson was announced as one of the Timbers first four signings, along with Steve Cronin, Ryan Pore and Bright Dike. Because Portland had second draft pick behind fellow expansion side Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS), they announced they had previously signed Johnson, by taking Eddie Johnson to their former Portland Timbers (USL) before the transfer deadline on August 14 and loaning Eddie Johnson back to the Aztex for the remainder of the 2010 season. Eddie Johnson was listed on the Timbers' roster as a forward. Johnson was a late substitute for Jorge Perlaza in the Timbers' first MLS home game and fourth in all, as they defeated Chicago Fire Soccer Club 4–2 on 15 April 2011.

Playing statistics


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