CF Montréal forward Bjorn Johnsen may be new to MLS, but the move marks a homecoming of sorts for the 29-year-old. Born in New York City and raised in North Carolina, the Norwegian international officially returned to North America in early February after a globetrotting career.
Joining Extratime earlier this week, Johnsen spoke about his decision to join Montréal from Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea, the reigning AFC Champions League winners. Before they won Asia's biggest club soccer prize, Johnsen decided it was time to either sign a long-term deal with Ulsan or look elsewhere.
"We win the Champions League, my team does a full revamp of everyone – coach, players," Johnsen said. "We lose half the players and I'm just like, 'You know what? It's time to go home, maybe. ... I've probably won something that nobody will be able to win for an American or a Norwegian, winning the Champions League, so I think now is the time to get back.'"
Canada is the eighth country Johnsen has played club soccer in, while North America is the third continent. Johnsen also mentioned it could be nine countries and four continents if a move to Australia ever emerges, but it remains a lengthy list that involved a lot of change.
"I'm not a baby. It's time to just settle down and stop moving around," Johnsen said. "I have moved around. I've enjoyed it. I've been everywhere."
After winning the Champions League with Ulsan, Johnsen felt he could find somewhere that knew his value. He's also proven himself internationally, scoring five times in 16 games for Norway.
"Maybe it's time to just take the contract that I can get that I know that I deserve in the MLS," he said. "I felt that it was just a great moment to get back into the MLS and obviously after the 25th year of the MLS, I'm now turning 30 this year, and the way that the trajectory of the MLS in my whole career, in the last 10 years, is absolutely amazing, so why not be a part of that? I want to put some history down in the MLS for myself."