After officially retiring in November following efforts to manage a heart condition diagnosed during the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs, former US national team forward Eddie Johnson said he was looking forward to further his efforts coaching children. The 31-year-old has stayed true to his word – and love for the game.
Orlando soccer blog The Mane Land caught up with Johnson at the Florida Cup All-Star Game, an exhibition the event Web site bills as "displaying skills from former idols of soccer." The 6-5 game proved a workout for the longtime D.C. United standout, who played the full second half and scored two goals, joking afterward that he didn't move much.
Discussing a "bittersweet" retirement, Johnson remains grateful he has no restrictions on everyday activity, and has taken pleasure in passing lessons along to Orlando youth, close to his hometown of Burnell, Florida. And he offered TML a vote of confidence in US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whom he played under from 2011-13:
"I think with his philosophy and his understanding of the game, it's important for our national team. I think our fans need to be a little more patient with what he's trying to build here in our country. I think he's done a really good job since he's taken over as coach in turning the national team program around and I can only talk from experience as a player who has played under Jurgen Klinsmann."
(h/t Alicia Rodriguez | @soccermusings)