Now it’s official: Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson has been called up to the U.S. national team.
Word first broke Friday from Johnson himself, who tweeted: “Thank you to the Seattle Sounders and my teammates family and friends for believing in me when everyone else didn’t,” he said in one tweet, accompanied by the hashtag #igotthecallupguys.
However, today the word came from U.S. Soccer and national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Klinsmann cited Johnson’s play in the air, and said he spoke with coach Sigi Schmid “many, many times” recently about Johnson’s progress.
“Sigi found a way to get him back on track and it was exciting to see,” Klinsmann said. “… I think he really deserved that call.”
Here’s Klinsmann’s 24-man roster:
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)
Johnson first appeared with the national team in 2004, and he was a member of the 2006 World Cup team. He last appearance with the team was in 2010.
In his first season with the Sounders, he leads the club with 14 goals, including one last night in the win over Portland. He also has eight career goals in national team World Cup qualification matches.
Johnson joins defender Adam Johansson and midfielder Mario Martinez (Honduras) as Sounders away for national team service.
Here’s more from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC announced today that Adam Johansson, Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez have been called in by their national teams for upcoming 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
Johansson, 29, will join Sweden for two qualifiers against Faroe Islands on October 12 in Torshavn, Faroe Islands and against Germany on October 16 in Berlin. Johansson currently has 11 caps for Sweden.
Sweden is in Group C and won its first qualifying match against Kazakhstan, 2-0. Germany leads the group with wins in its first two matches.
Johnson, 28, will join the U.S. National Team for qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda on October 12 in St. John’s and against Guatemala on October 16 in Kansas City.
Johnson currently has 41 caps and 12 goals for the U.S. since his debut in 2004. His last appearance for the national team was a scoreless draw against Colombia on October 12, 2010, at PPL Park in Chester, Penn.
The U.S. is currently tied with Guatemala and Jamaica with seven points through four matches in CONCACAF’s Group A. Both the U.S. and Guatemala are even with six goals scored and four goals against.
Martinez, 23, will join Honduras for two qualifiers. The first match is against Panama on October 12 in Panama City. The second match is against Canada on October 16 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Martinez currently has 19 caps for Honduras.
Honduras is in CONCACAF’s Group C and is currently tied with Canada for second with seven points, two points behind group leader Panama.
Sounders FC hosts Real Salt Lake October 17 on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.