INDIANAPOLIS – After the Houston Dynamo chose him with the 13th pick in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, Jason Johnson knew his transition to MLS became a little easier.
Johnson is the fourth Jamaican on the Dynamo roster, and the Generation adidas signee already knows a few of his fellow Reggae Boyz.
“I think the transition is already made knowing that I already have Jamaicans on that team,” Johnson said. “I think it will take less time for me to transition culture-wise and just socially.”
Johnson spent time with Dynamo midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson when he earned his lone cap for the Jamaican national team, and he said he's talked to recently acquired forward Omar Cummings a few times since he left school.
The 22-year-old was not expecting the pick, in part because he hadn't spoken to the Dynamo, who don't do pre-draft interviews with players.
“This is such a big surprise,” Johnson said. “I think I can [make an impact immediately].”
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said the team saw enough of Johnson's raw talent at the combine to draft the young forward.
“I think, for us, sometime it was quiet during games, but he had the explosiveness to make you think, this guy's got something,” Kinnear said. “He created some problems, did some good things in the Combine, and you always want pace up top. I think if you can get a guy to shake the defense a little bit, I think it's an added plus to your team.”
Johnson may have had a quiet Combine, but the Virginia Commonwealth product scored 13 goals and tallied six assists in 21 games for the Rams last season.
“I saw enough to pick him at 13,” Kinnear said. “Sometimes he was quiet. You never know going into it how people will react to different situations, but there were a couple of moments there that we saw where we said, 'Yeah, we think this kid can do well.'”