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US international Eddie Johnson returning to MLS

NEW YORK — Less than a week after the return of US international Freddy Adu, another big name in recent USMNT history is set to return from Europe to MLS.

Eddie Johnson, who played seven years in MLS with FC Dallas and Kansas City, has signed with MLS, Executive Vice President of Competition and Player Relations Todd Durbin announced on a conference call with media members on Tuesday afternoon.

Although final details of the deal are still being worked out, Johnson should enter the league’s allocation process and, according to Durbin, know his potential destination by Thursday.

Currently, Chivas USA have the top spot in the MLS allocation ranking, followed by Houston, Toronto, and Chicago. (Click here for complete allocation ranking.) Chivas USA have already this year declined to acquire Benny Feilhaber and Adu through the allocation process.

Johnson, 27, was originally drafted by Dallas in 2001. He spent five years in the Big D, making 84 regular-season appearances and scoring 24 goals. In 2006, he moved to Kansas City, where he played for two seasons, making 43 regular-season appearances and scoring 17 goals. His best season was 2007, when he struck 15 goals, good for fourth in the league.

In January 2008, Johnson signed with EPL side Fulham, joining fellow American attacker Clint Dempsey, although he failed to make his mark in England. He subsequently went on loan to Championship side Cardiff City, Greek side Aris, and Championship club PReston North End. 

While thriving in MLS, Johnson also made his name on the international scene. He debuted for the US national team in a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador in 2004, and scored a goal in his debut and then striking for a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier against Panama four days later. To date, he has earned 42 caps and scored 12 goals for the US.