Edward Johnson (born March 31, 1984 in Palm Coast, Florida) is
an American soccer player, currently considered one of the best
young players in America. He plays striker for Kansas City
Wizards in Major League Soccer.
Already an established player on the US Under-17 team and having
trained at the Bradenton Academy, Johnson became one of the
youngest players to sign with MLS, and was drafted by the Dallas
Burn as a Project-40 player in the second round of the 2001 MLS
SuperDraft. In his first three years in the league, he did not
get much playing time, and was very inconsistent when he did get
on the field. Johnson scored just two, two, and three goals for
Dallas in those seasons, while missing a lot of time with US
youth national teams.
Johnson came into his own at the end of 2003, at the FIFA World
Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. Eddie scored
four goals (three from the penalty spot) to win the tournament's
Golden Boot. He translated the success at the world stage to MLS
(a change in Dallas' coach likely helped too), as in 2004 he
scored more goals than in his first three seasons combined: 12,
to co-lead (with Brian Ching) the league in that department,
becoming the youngest player to achieve that feat in MLS history.
In May 2005, Johnson suffered an injury to the toes of his right
foot that sidelined him until August of that year. After
returning to MLS in August (he scored only five goals during the
season), and making a brief re-appearance with the national team
on September 7, 2005, Johnson reinjured his toes in mid-September
and is sidelined until January 2006. With Dallas in salary cap
trouble, Johnson was traded to the Kansas City Wizards on
February 14, 2006 for two allocations.
Johnson, who has blazing speed, received his first cap and
scored his first goal for the senior US national team against El
Salvador on October 9, 2004, becoming one of a small group of
American players to get his first international goal in a World
Cup Qualifier. He then scored a hat-trick in his second
appearance, all in a 17-minute span against Panama, just four
days later. He totaled seven goals in his first six World Cup
qualifiers and is already third on the U.S. all-time scoring
list in World Cup qualifiers.
Johnson is known to fans affectionately as "grown-ass man" or
"GAM". He received the nickname after an interviewer asked him
what video games he played. He responded, "I don't play video
games. I'm a grown-ass man."
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