After a strong showing for the Seattle Sounders in 2012 after returning home from a failed stint in Europe, Eddie Johnson earned his first call-up to the USMNT in the Jurgen Klinsmann era.
The call-up came in October 2012 as the team prepared to face Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala in World Cup qualifying. With the U.S. desperately needing a win to put their qualifying hopes back on track, Johnson was given a surprise start versus Antigua and Barbuda.
In that game, Johnson scored twice on headers, including the game-winning goal in stoppage time. Several days later against Guatemala, he sealed his comeback with another strong performance.
While he is known primarily for his speed, his best weapon for the U.S. has been his head. On Wednesday, U.S. fans got another reminder of his excellence in that regard as he set up Landon Donovan’s eventual game-winner with a flicked header in the 27th minute.
Johnson replicated the feat again early in the second half to set up Alejandro Bedoya, but Bedoya’s shot was saved by the Honduras keeper.
And, just three days ago in the quarterfinal game against El Salvador, Johnson scored with a headed corner kick only 14 seconds after entering the match as a second-half substitute.
Should something happen to Jozy Altidore, Johnson has shown Klinsmann and U.S. fans that he can handle target striker duties if needed.