The Canadian Soccer Association announced its 22-man roster for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday, and Johnson will be a leader on a squad that is light on veteran influence.
Players like Johnson, Julian de Guzman and David Edgar will provide the senior leadership as Dwayne De Rosario, Atiba Hutchinson and Andre Hainault — all of whom were originally named to Canada's 35-man preliminary roster — were all omitted.
In Hutchinson’s case, a source tells MLSsoccer.com that the former PSV Eindhoven midfielder does not want to risk injury while searching for a new club.
Former TFC Academy player Keven Aleman, now at Spanish club Real Valladolid, was called up to the senior team for the first time as well.
Interim head coach Colin Miller's squad assembles in Oxnard, Calif., on Wednesday. The roster won’t be final until Friday, so there still is a small window to add another player in time for the tournament.
FULL CANADA ROSTER
Goalkeepers (3): Milan Borjan (Sivasspor/Turkey), Lars Hirschfeld (Vålerenga/Norway), Simon Thomas (Vancouver Whitecaps FC).
Defenders (6): Nik Ledgerwood (Hammarby/Sweden), Adam Straith (unattached), Doneil Henry (Toronto FC), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Marcel de Jong (Augsburg/Germany), David Edgar (Burnley/England).
Midfielders (9): Kyle Bekker (Toronto FC), Julian de Guzman (unattached), Issey Nakajima-Farran (Alki/Cyprus), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Samuel Piette (Fortuna Dusseldorf/Germany), Keven Aleman (Real Valladolid/Spain), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Pedro Pacheco (Santa Clara/Portugal), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC).
Forwards (4): Randy Edwini-Bonsu (unattached), Marcus Haber (Stevenage FC/England), Tosaint Ricketts (Sandnes Ulf/Norway), Simeon Jackson (unattached).