Fabian Johnson to Borussia Moenchengladbach: Latest News, Comments and Analysis

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2014

United States' Fabian Johnson listens the national anthems before the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica, Friday, June 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Andres Leighton/Associated Press

While many of the top soccer players from the United States have returned to play for Major League Soccer—Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley were the marquee names to make the switch from European club football—Fabian Johnson has decided to remain in the Bundesliga and sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach.

MLSSoccer.com reported the news on Monday:

On Monday, Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach announced that the Hoffenheim left-sided player will join them this summer on a free transfer. The contract will run until 2018.

“Fabian Johnson is a very interesting player, moreover he is a free agent, who can play at left-back and at left-midfield,” Moenchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl told Borussia.de. "We are delighted that he has opted to play for us."

Johnson, 26, has been in flux about where he would play next season following his decision this winter not to extend his contract with Hoffenheim.

Johnson has made 15 appearances for Hoffenheim this season (11 starts), notching an assist.

This year, he has earned a 6.63 average match rating for his efforts from WhoScored.com. Johnson's strength is his versatility—according to WhoScored, he has made six starts at left-back, three starts as a left attacking midfielder and two starts as a right-back.

Daniel Maurer/Associated Press

He has also become a key contributor for the United States men's national team, with 18 total caps. He's at his best internationally when paired with Dempsey and Landon Donovan in the attacking trio behind striker Jozy Altidore, offering pace and an excellent attacking intent.    

Just 26 years of age, Johnson will have the chance to grow and contribute on a Borussia Moenchengladbach team that is currently having a solid season and sits sixth on the Bundesliga table with 35 points. 

And you can bet his new team will be paying very close attention to his performance at this year's World Cup, where he'll be expected to be a major figure in the United States' attempt to escape from a brutal group that includes Germany, Portugal and Ghana.

Borussia Moenchengladbach will likely be hoping the United States fails to defeat Germany, but that their new man, Johnson, plays quite well in the matchup nonetheless.