Johnson a sudden star in second season with Toronto FC
Ryan Johnson has been on a roll for Toronto FC.
The forward has scored three goals in three matches for the Reds – one in each leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against the LA Galaxy and another this past Saturday in the team’s league opener in Seattle.
But after the 3-1 loss to the Sounders, he lamented one that didn’t go in. His header in the 28th minute hit the crossbar and Seattle remained in the lead 1-0.
WATCH: Johnson drills golazo vs. Seattle
“I think if I got that header early in the first half, the game would have changed a bit,” the Jamaican international told reporters after the game.
Johnson did score a wonderful goal from outside the box in the second half to cut Seattle’s lead to 2-1, but hopes of a comeback faded a minute later after when David Estrada completed his hat trick. The game was a double loss for Toronto because midfielder Torsten Frings left the game with a hamstring injury in the 24th minute after making a saving tackle.
TFC have never won in Seattle, with only a tie to show for four games there.
“Seattle is a hard place to play,” said Johnson, who joined Toronto in a trade with San Jose last July. “I think I’ve only won once here in my whole career. It’s just one of those hard places to play. I wasn’t really surprised with the result but we should have been better defensively, I think.”
But it’s not just the goals Johnson provides. He also set Nick Soolsma with the game-winner last week at the Home Depot Center as TFC advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win over the Galaxy.
It was a long week for Toronto, who departed straight for Seattle after the midweek game and only returned home on Sunday after five days on the road. Johnson says he doesn’t feel any effects from the long haul.
“I can only speak for myself,” he said. “My legs were fine. I think we got enough rest. The coaches didn't work us too hard in practice so we were fresh. Every game, we're ready regardless of how soon we played a game before that. I think we need to be true professionals and be ready for the next game."
Toronto now head home for their league opener at BMO Field on Saturday against Johnson's old team, the San Jose Earthquakes.