HOW ACQUIRED: Acquired from the Portland Timbers on Dec. 18, 2015, in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money and a conditional second round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Upon his return to North America from the Netherlands, he signed his first professional contract with the Chicago Fire at age 18 ahead of the 2005 MLS season, making six appearances in his rookie season and scoring one goal. After two years in Holland, Johnson returned to MLS and signed with Real Salt Lake after RSL acquired his rights through a trade with Chicago on August 22, 2008. Johnson spent five seasons with RSL, making a combined 144 appearances with 12 goals and 10 assists in league play, MLS Cup Playoffs and CONCACAF Champions League. Johnson was a central part of RSL’s 2009 MLS Cup winning side, along with RSL’s run to the finals of the 2010-11 CCL against Monterrey (Mexico), where RSL fell 3-2 on aggregate. Johnson also won the 2008 MLS Goal of the Year, was named to the 2009 MLS All-Star game and was part of the 2009 Eastern Conference Championship side while with RSL.
Johnson was traded to Portland on December 3, 2012, and set new MLS career marks in goals (9), assists (5), points (23) and minutes played (5,250) in his first season in Portland. Played the full 90 in all 28 of his appearances during the regular season, was voted to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Fan XI and started in the MLS All-Star Game on July 31 vs. AS Roma at Sporting Park; was later named to the 2013 MLS Best XI. Appeared in 29 games (all starts) in 2014 before suffering a fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg on Sept. 27 against Toronto FC, but still set an MLS career high in minutes played (2,526) and tallied six goals and two assists while being named an MLS All-Star. A Toronto-born son of English parents, Johnson holds Canadian, American and English citizenship. Born in Toronto, he moved to England as an infant and settled in the Chicago area at the age of 10. His grandfather, Brian Birch, played professionally for English squad Bolton Wanderers.
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OUTSIDE MLS: Johnson began his youth career with the Blackburn Rovers youth squad in 2003, and later moved to Dutch Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen prior to the 2006-07 season. He made 14 appearances and was later loaned to De Graafschap for the 2007-08 season, where he made 39 appearances and scored three goals for the club.
INTERNATIONAL: Johnson has 33 caps with Canada since making his senior debut as an 18-year-old on Nov. 16, 2005. He has been a member of Canada's squad for three CONCACAF Gold Cups. He became a fixture in the Canadian midfield in 2011, playing in 11 of the team’s 12 contests and ending the season as one of 10 finalists for the BMO Canadian Player of the Year honor. Johnson was a prominent member of the Canada U-23 National Team during the 2008 Olympic cycle was named to the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying competition’s All-Tournament Team. Johnson also had three starts at both the 2005 and 2007 FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland and Canada, respectively.