Here’s what Sounders forward Eddie Johnson had to say today when asked about played in Seattle while wearing the colors of the U.S. national team
“It would be an honor,” he said. “I believe every chance you get an opportunity to represent your country — and especially in from of the fans here. You know, we have the best fans in the league when we play here week in and week out. It’s going to be an honor and a priviledge. If that opportunity comes, I’m delighted.”
Here’s the news from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson has been called into the U.S. National Team for three 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers next month against Jamaica, Panama, and Honduras. CenturyLink Field will host the June 11 match versus Panama.
“The hard work we have been doing here doesn’t go unnoticed. I thank my teammates and coaches for pushing me week in and week out,” said forward Eddie Johnson. “To wear the U.S. National Team jersey in front of Seattle fans will be an unbelievable experience for me. I’m honored and privileged to have this opportunity.”
The United States will play Jamaica on June 7 at National Stadium in Kingston. On June 11, the national team will play Panama at CenturyLink Field and on June 18 the U.S. will play Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Prior to the qualifiers, the U.S. will play two international friendlies, beginning with a May 29 match against Belgium at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, then a June 2 match against Germany at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
The June 11 match versus Panama at CenturyLink Field will be the first qualifier in Seattle since the U.S. beat Canada, 2-0, on October 20, 1976. CenturyLink Field also hosted the U.S. National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2005 and 2009. The last time the U.S. played at CenturyLink Field was on July 4, 2009, during a 4-0 victory against Grenada in the opener of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“Eddie is a guy with amazing pace,” said U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “He can surprise people going one against one and can create something out of nothing.”
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster by phone (800-745-3000) and the CenturyLink Field Box Office.
Johnson, 29, has 48 caps and 14 goals for the United States. He helped the team advance to Round Four of qualifying with two goals and one assist in matches against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala last October. Johnson has appeared in all three hexagonal games for the U.S. so far, and has 10 career goals in qualifying to his credit, tied for second all-time with Brian McBride.
Johnson will miss two MLS matches on June 1 at Chivas USA and June 8 versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Currently in second place in the Final Round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. could earn as many as nine points in the trio of qualifiers ahead. The team is riding a 21-0-2 unbeaten streak at home in World Cup qualifying and is coming off a pair of impressive results, having collected a 1-0 win against Costa Rica before earning a point in qualifying in Mexico for only the second time in team history.
Sounders FC hosts FC Dallas on Saturday, May 18. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (6):Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)