BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, October 25, 2010
While being in the middle of a relegation battle in the Danish first division, FC Fyn have added American forward and winger Jamel Johnson to help the club avoid the drop to the country's third level of soccer.
Following a trial, Johnson joined the club after impressing the coaching staff however he pulled his hamstring during the trial and is currently finishing his rehab.
"I am coming back into it," Johnson told YA from Denmark. "I am playing reserve matches and scoring. I am playing well in practice so I feel in no time I should be playing some first team matches."
Johnson, 20, signed with the club through the midway point of the season but an extension is likely if he succeeds once he gets back on the field with the team.
"He has until the winter break to prove himself for a longer-term arrangement because he pulled his hamstring on trial," agent Robert L. Feigenson said. "So he is rehabbing the leg and then will try and save the team from the relegation fight in which they seem mired at the moment."
Based on recent events in his rehab, Johnson is confident that he will stay with the club past the break.
"For right now, I am here through the mid-way point but if I continue at the same pace that I am going at right now, I should have an extension," he noted.
The club currently sits in 15th place in the 16 team First Division which is the second level of soccer in Denmark.
In their most recent game, they played to a scoreless draw at AB and Johnson feels that will prove to be a turning point in a successful battle to fend off relegation.
"I think we are on our way to more wins and more ties," Johnson predicted. "As of right now it is a big struggle for the team and we are trying to get out things together."
The deal with FC Fyn is Johnson's first ever professional contract after deciding to leave the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
During his summers in college, he would travel to Europe to train with clubs and now he is enjoying being part of club with Fyn.
"To be honest, I love it," Johnson said of Fyn. "Everybody speaks English here. Everybody has been really nice and supportive. Right now I am actually living with the director of the club. It's a great situation for me."
Johnson was born in White Plains, New York and he holds dual citizenship with Jamaica.
In 2009 he was actually called in by Jamaica's U20 national team for a camp in Florida. Despite taking part in that camp, Johnson's goal is to suit up for the Stars and Stripes.
"That's my goal," Johnson concluded. "I would love to play for the USA U23 Olympic team."