Eddie Johnson is not going to Brazil. Jurgen Klinsmann left the 2006 World Cup veteran out of his plans on Monday, omitting his name among the 30 he called for his preliminary World Cup roster.
Klinsmann explained his reasoning on a conference call, saying the D.C. United Designated Player was behind the other forwards on the depth chart. Johnson has yet to score in eight regular-season matches since joining D.C. in the offseason.
On Monday, D.C. United general manager came to his forward's defense in a statement:
"It is unfortunate that Eddie won't be a part of the US men's national team at this summer's World Cup," Kasper said. "But we support him, stand by him and believe in him as a talented and crucially important player for our club. He's been an incredible addition to our team, and we believe that great things are in store for the remainder of this season and beyond."
Johnson came under some fire last week for controversial quotes suggesting his United teammates weren't as technical as his former teammates in Seattle. EJ later apologized for those comments. He also provided a statement to media on Monday:
"While I am disappointed not to have the chance to represent the US men's national team in Brazil, I respect coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision," the 30-year-old said. "I believe in and support my US teammates, and I wish the best for our team and our nation at the World Cup.
"I look forward to getting back to work with my D.C. United teammates as we prepare for another tough game this weekend [at home against Montreal]. Our team has great potential, and I am determined to help us continue to get positive results."