CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, November 16, 2009
One of head coach Bob Bradley's many experiments in the US' 1-0 loss to Slovakia on Saturday was giving forward Eddie Johnson a second look after more than a 12 month absence from the national team.
The 25-year old stepped onto the field for the second half in place of the ineffective Conor Casey but was unable to help the US find the equalizing goal.
Despite the defeat, the Fulham man was pleased to be back in action while wearing a USMNT jersey.
"It was good to be back," Johnson told YA following Saturday night's match. "I knew that getting my rhythm and getting my form back is something that is not going to happen overnight."
Johnson's best chance in the 45 minutes of play came in the 51st minute, when Fulham teammate Clint Dempsey found him in open space on the right side in the box, but his right-footer only hit the side netting.
"Tonight was difficult," the Floridian admitted. "Considering it was not a full squad, we gave it our best."
Johnson last appeared for the Nats on Sept. 10, 2008 as a 67th minute substitute in a 3-0 victory in Trinidad & Tobago, and hopes to figure prominently in Bradley's lineup in the lead-up to the World Cup.
"It means a lot when you can get on the field and represent your country. Not a lot of people get to do it," he added.
Since his debut on Oct. 9, 2004 against El Salvador, the striker has amassed 12 goals in 38 appearances for the national team.
Looking ahead to Wednesday's friendly against Denmark, the former FC Dallas star highlights the need for team cohesion in order to light up the scoreboard in Aarhus.
"It's just about us, being sharper, being harder to play against, and taking our chances when we get them," noted Johnson.
After Wednesday night's contest, the Cottager will rejoin his club in England, where he has seen just shy of 30 minutes of play this season as a substitute in the Premiership, in addition to featuring as a starter in a Carling Cup loss to Manchester City.