Gringo Report: Johnson to team up with Beasley at Puebla

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Former FC Dallas striker Eddie Johnson will play at Mexican first-division side Puebla next season, alongside fellow American DaMarcus Beasley and under the command of former MLS coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

“He's a Puebla player, it's a done deal,” Puebla press officer Alfonso Sánchez confirmed to MLSsoccer.com over the phone on Thursday. “He'll sign when he comes here on Monday.”

Earlier in the day, Puebla president Roberto Henaine had named Johnson as the club's new striker, in effect a replacement for Colombian Duvier Riascos, who left for Club Tijuana earlier this month. 

After his performances for FC Dallas and Kansas City had garnered Johnson a host of admirers in Europe, the 27-year-old eventually joined Premier League side Fulham in 2008.

The West London team loaned him out for spells at Greek side Aris FC, as well as Cardiff City and Preston North End, as he failed to nail down a first-team place.

Johnson burst onto the international scene back in 2004 by scoring four goals in his first two appearances. He currently has 42 caps for the United States, but has played just 45 minutes for the national team since missing out on the final cut for the World Cup in South Africa last year.

The Palm Coast, Fla., native will be hoping that the Mexican challenge can ignite his international career the same way it seems to have done for 29-year-old Beasley, who has won praise from US coach Jurgen Klinsmann for taking himself out his comfort zone and moving to Mexico.

Johnson has been out of contract since leaving Fulham last summer and had attracted some interest from Swedish club Brøndby.

Beasley, for his part, was delighted with the news.

“I've been fortunate enough to have another American at EVERY club I've played at!" Beasley shared on Twitter. "Now, again, we wanna welcome my boy Eddie Johnson to Puebla!”

Puebla are due to issue a press statement with further details of the signing on Monday, when Johnson arrives.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.