United States: Should Eddie Johnson Get a Second Chance with the National Team?

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 30:  Eddie Johnson #7 of the Seattle Sounders FC celebrates his goal against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on June 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Most American soccer fans remember Eddie Johnson's rise to success in the beginning of his career in Major League Soccer with FC Dallas and the Kansas City Wizards.

Most American fans also remember Johnson's fall from grace after moving to Fulham in 2008.

Johnson only played 19 games in his time at Craven Cottage, and also spent time out on loan three times.

His loan spells were in three very different places: Cardiff City, Aris Thessaloniki and Preston North End. None of the loan spells ended in permanent stays at those clubs.

Now, Johnson has found his way back to MLS and has a place in the Seattle Sounders starting lineup.

Johnson landed back in MLS in February and in the allocation process was awarded to the Montreal Impact.

A day after being sent to Montreal, the Sounders gave up Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle for the 28-year-old striker.

After settling back into the league where he made a name for himself, the American striker is making a big impact on the Sounders.

Johnson has helped the Sounders into third place in the standings and has contributed eight goals so far this season.

With Johnson finally finding consistent playing time at a club and doing well, the question of whether he should be recalled into the United States men's national team is a serious one.

The last time Johnson was consistently playing for the Red, White and Blue was back in 2008 before his disastrous tenure overseas began.

In the upcoming months, the United States have four World Cup qualifiers, along with two friendlies against Mexico and Russia on the road.

United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann does have a good amount of strikers to choose from already with Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski all in form.

The good news for Johnson is that the friendly against Mexico, and the next two World Cup qualifiers, take place at the beginning of the European season and players like Dempsey and Altidore may decide against making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

In his time as manager, Klinsmann has not hesitated in bringing in-form MLS players to the squad with FC Dallas' Brek Shea and Kyle Beckerman of Real Salt Lake being the main examples of that.

Time will tell if Klinsmann brings in the Sounders striker into the national team fold once again, but if he does, do not expect Johnson to start right away.

If selected to the roster in the future, Johnson will have to work his way into the starting lineup just like Gomez had to when he was brought back into the squad last year.

Of course before he even gets selected to the squad, Johnson will have to keep up his form with Seattle, but playing throughout the summer and into the fall in MLS may actually benefit the 28-year-old on his comeback to the national team.