Will Johnson is no longer a member of Toronto FC, but he still wanted to clear the air over recent comments he made about some of his former teammates and head coach.
Johnson was a guest on Anthony Totera's show Red Card on Wednesday to discuss a number topics, including the remarks he made to the Toronto Star earlier this week about how his lone season at TFC went. In those initial comments, Johnson was critical of head coach Greg Vanney and the treatment players like Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley got while they were hurt.
“Clint [Irwin] got hurt, they didn’t go out and get another goalkeeper. Michael got hurt, they didn’t go get another center mid. Seba got hurt, they didn’t go get another striker,” Johnson told the Toronto Star. “For whatever reason, Greg didn’t give me the same fair shake he gave everybody else who got hurt. And especially the way I got hurt, making the sacrifice for the club, made it an easy decision for me to walk away.”
On Totero's Red Card, the 29-year-old Johnson expressed remorse over getting into specifics about which players he thought were treated better while on the sidelines.
“The part that you bring up about my teammates is something that yeah, probably not a good idea to bring up individuals just because injuries happen at different times throughout the year [and] opportunities are based on results to get their spots back," Johnson told Red Card. "When you bring up the part about naming individuals and specific injuries and getting their spots back, I agree with you: That’s not me and that’s the part that I regret."
Still, Johnson acknowledged differences with Vanney led, in part, to the Canadian international's departure from Toronto FC. Johnson signed with Orlando City in late December.
“I really like him as a guy, but just for me and my style, it was something that I felt I needed something different," said Johnson, "and so for me, for anyone who thinks that I’m trying to paint Greg in a negative light, that’s just simply not me, it’s simply not the case. I want people to understand that I think Greg’s done a really good job with Toronto, and I’m not going to go through each decision and how it was made per se, but obviously the way things ended with me and as pertains to my individual circumstances for the final half of the year after my injury, those parts… the private conversations Greg and I had left me disappointed and ultimately I decided that it was time for me to move on and find a new challenge.”