Will Johnson

Will Johnson
Will Johnson
Real Name: Will Johnson
HT: 5' 10" WT: 160
Age: 28 (01/21/1987)
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario
Hometown: Woodridge, IL


RSL: Via trade with Chicago Fire on 8/22/08 in a conditional exchange for Real Salt Lake’s natural 2009 4th round and 2011 2nd round MLS SuperDraft picks

CHI: Signed to a Senior roster contract on 2/17/05


Will Johnson was a busy guy in 2011, but when you’re depended upon to be a stalwart for both your club and country, well, that just goes with the territory. But with Johnson possessing one of – if not the best – motors in all of Major League Soccer, the industrious 25-year-old not only has the stamina to handle the added workload, but the pride and character to relish it. He also has the history to prove he can handle the added miles as well, playing at least 2,000 minutes and in at least 25 regular season contests for the Claret-and-Cobalt in each of his first three full seasons … and that’s not counting the additional wear-and-tear (and pressure) endured during Cup competitions.


With another round of World Cup qualifying in store for his Canadian National Team and another run in the CONCACAF Champions League on the docket for Real Salt Lake, it’s going to be another chock full calendar in 2012 for Johnson, who will again be depended upon to man the left side of RSL’s midfield diamond. While a procedure to correct a sports hernia issue might slow Johnson down for the first few weeks of the season, the RSL faithful can rest assured his odometer will start spinning furiously sooner rather than later.


MLS Career

2011: Steady midfielder started 22 of 25 league appearances (2.059 min.), notching a pair of goals and an assist … 22 starts marked the 2nd most for an RSL midfielder in 2011, behind only Beckerman (27) … Logged every minute of RSL’s six CONCACAF Champions League Championship Stage matches, helping the squad to the cusp of a historic victory in the continental club championship … Helped get RSL on the board in Leg One of the CCL Finals on 4/20 @ Monterrey, whipping in the cross that Borchers headed home for the first equalizer in the eventful 2-2 draw … First goal of season on 5/07 v. CHV was an emotional one, the late game-winner at Rio Tinto Stadium giving RSL the victory after fellow midfielder Javier Morales was felled by an ankle injury earlier in the match … The goal was his first in regular season play since 4/10/10 v. SEA … Started RSL’s comeback on 7/04 v. NE, his 24’ goal helping the Utahns to a share of the spoils in a wild 3-3 Independence Day draw … Notched only assist of regular season five days later on 7/09 v. DAL, helping on Espindola’s late insurance tally in a 2-0 win … Due to National Team duty for Canada, missed handful of contests while representing Canucks at the 2011 Gold Cup in July and in World Cup Qualifying contests across the last two months of the season … Missed 10/6 @ VAN due to Canadian WCQ duty, but suffered ankle injury 17 minutes into eventual 7-0 win @ St. Lucia … Missed 10/14 @ COL due to ankle, but returned for regular season finale on 10/22 v POR … Went the full 90 minutes in all three of RSL’s 2011 MLS Cup Playoff contests.


2010: Appeared in 38 of team’s 40 matches across League and Cup competitions (33 starts), logging an impressive 3,016 minutes while scoring five goals and adding an assist along the way … Placed 3rd on squad with 28 regular season appearances and 5th with 24 starts … Was only RSL player to start all six contests and logged a team-high 480 minutes in CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage action, helping RSL to become the first MLS team to finish atop its group in nine tries … His three CCL goals were T-2nd (w/ Paulo Jr.), behind only Saborio’s six-goal haul … Notched his only goal in MLS action on 4/10 v. SEA, scoring the first goal of the season at Rio Tinto Stadium with a textbook diving header 53 minutes into the eventual 2-2 draw …  Put in a sturdy 120 min. four days later in RSL’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier on 4/14 @ SJ, helping the Utah side push through a wild 3-3 draw before notching the opening spot kick during its 5-3 PK triumph … Went full 120 minutes on 6/02 @ DC, his PK in the 80th minute forcing the U.S. Open Cup qualifier to added extra time (1-2 L) … Started and played full 90 minutes of RSL’s “instant classic” 4-5 loss @ Cruz Azul on 8/25, his 92+’ equalizer nearly giving the Utahans a rare draw for an MLS side south of the border … Opened and closed the scoring on 9/22 @ Árabe Unido, his 10th and 43rd minute tallies lifting RSL to a vital 3-2 victory in Panama City … Logged 22 minutes off the bench in Leg One of RSL’s Western Conf. Semifinal Series on 10/30 @ DAL (1-2 L) … Started and went the full 90 minutes in Leg Two on 11/06 v. DAL (1-1 T).



2009: Notched a goal and three assists while ranking in top five on squad with 26 starts (3rd) and games played (T-5th) … Scored RSL’s lone goal on 4/28 @ SEA in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier, his tally just past the half-hour mark helping cut into a Sounders lead that eventually grew into a 1-4 RSL defeat … Contributed to crazy finish in 2-2 draw on 5/06 v. LA, first being whistled for a handball in the area that set up Donovan’s 91+’ equalizer before converting a spot kick of his own a minute later, only to see his hopeful game-winner cancelled out minutes later by Magee in the 94+’ … Named to first MLS All-Star squad by Dominic Kinnear as an injury replacement for Shalrie Joseph (NE) on 7/24 … Played 45 min. for MLS All-Stars on 7/29 v. Everton FC at Rio Tinto Stadium in MLS’ 3-4 PK defeat (1-1 in regulation) in front of his home crowd in Sandy… Converted his PK opportunity in the shootout against USA #1 ‘keeper Tim Howard … 84 min. stint on 8/01 @ CHI marked the first time Johnson had failed to log the full 90 in a regular season or postseason match since joining RSL in Aug. 2008 … Started all four of RSL’s postseason contests, playing every minute up until halftime of MLS Cup 2009 … After 120 minutes of play on 11/14 @ CHI in the Eastern Conf. Championship, helped get revenge on his former side by converting fifth round PK that continued the shootout that eventually ended 5-4 in favor of RSL … Gamely started MLS Cup 2009 on 11/22 v. LA at Seattle’s Qwest Field, but a bout of food poisoning would limit him to the first 45 minutes of RSL’s 1-1 draw and an exit before its 5-4 triumph in penalties that claimed the Utah side’s first title.


2008: Started all 12 regular season and playoff appearances he was available for after rights were acquired by RSL from Chicago Fire on 8/22 in exchange for conditional 2009 4th round and 2011 2nd round MLS SuperDraft picks … Scored a pair of goals in his nine regular season appearances … Re-signed with MLS on 8/15/08 after spending two years in Dutch Eredivisie, becoming the fifth North American native to return from Europe to play for RSL in 2008 (Borchers, Joy, Mathis and Russell) … Played all 270 minutes in RSL’s maiden postseason run, starting both Western Conference Semifinal Series games against Chivas USA (11/01 v. CHV & 11/08 @ CHV) and the Western Conference Final on 11/15 v. NY … Made his RSL debut with a 90-minute performance on 8/29 v. COL in a 2-0 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium … Also started RSL’s final exhibition of the season on 9/03 v. UANL Tigres (MEX), starting and playing the first half in a 1-0 win … Scored first goal for RSL in just his second appearance with his new club on 9/06 @ LA, his 52’ tally helping the squad to a 2-2 away draw … His second goal in an RSL uniform – a brilliant volley 54th minute volley on 10/18 v. FCD in a 3-1 triumph – counted not only as his first game-winner in MLS play, but was also voted the 2008 Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Year via fan voting at season’s end.


2005: Started one of six appearances during his rookie campaign in 2005, scoring one goal in 162 minutes of play … Signed a Senior roster contract with Chicago as an 18-year-old on 2/17/05 … Made his MLS debut on 7/16 v. CLB, entering at the half in place of Scott Buete and playing the final 45 minutes in a 1-1 tie … Notched his first MLS start and goal a week later on 7/23 @ COL, scoring the first goal of the game (16’) and playing 71 minutes in an eventual 1-4 L … Played final 17 minutes off bench on 10/05 v. MET in a 2-2 draw, marking his last MLS appearance prior him joining RSL in 2008.


International Club Career

2007-08: De Graafschap – Dutch Eredivisie (First Division): Was loaned to Dutch Eredivisie squad De Graafschap from SC Heerenveen for the 2007/08 season, when he scored three times in 39 games across all competitions while spending time at forward, central midfield and right midfield.


2006-07: SC Heerenveen – Dutch Eredivisie (First Division): Scored one goal in 14 first-team appearances with SC Heerenveen after signing with the Dutch Eredivisie club prior to the 2006/07 season.


2003-04: Blackburn Rovers – English Premiership (Youth system): Pursued youth career in England with Premiership side Blackburn in 2003 and 2004, performing for the team’s youth squads prior to returning to America to start his professional career with the Chicago Fire in 2005.


Canadian National Teams

Senior Team: Has amassed 24 caps for Canada’s full squad since making his debut as an 18-year-old on 11/16/2005 in a 1-0 friendly win v. Luxembourg … Became a fixture in the Canadian midfield in 2011, playing in 11 of the team’s 12 contests and ending the season as one of 10 finalists for the BMO Canadian Player of the Year honor … Played in five of Canada’s six matches in Round 2 of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup between September and November, helping the team easily advance from Group C …   Scored his first goal at the senior international level on 9/02/11 v. St. Lucia in World Cup Qualifying play … Also represented Canada at 2011 Gold Cup in the USA, playing 245 minutes across the trio of group stage matches … Made his first appearance since the 2009 Gold Cup on 5/24/10 @ Argentina, going the full 90 minutes in a 0-5 defeat in Buenos Aires, a friendly the Albicelestes used as a tune-up match for the FIFA World Cup … Started in all four of Canada’s contests in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States … Made his World Cup Qualifying debut and first-ever start for the Maple Leafs on 11/19/08 @ Jamaica in a 0-3 loss … Olympic Team (U-23s): Was a prominent member of the Canadian U-23 National Team during the 2008 Olympic cycle, scoring three goals in three matches during the Maple Leafs’ run at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in March 2008 … That performance resulted in Johnson being named one of three forwards on the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying competition’s All-Tournament Team … Youth Teams: Made 32 appearances for Canada’s U-19 and U-20 teams from 2004-07 … His lengthy stint with the U-20s included three starts at both the 2005 and 2007 FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland and Canada, respectively.  



A Toronto-born son of English parents, Johnson holds Canadian, American and English citizenship … Born in Toronto, moved to England as an infant and settled in the Chicago area at the age of 10 … His grandfather, Brian Birch, played professionally for English squad Bolton Wanderers.



Goals                           1 – 7 times, last: July 4, 2011; RSL v. NE

Assists                         1 – 5 times, last: July 9, 2011; RSL v. DAL

Shots on Goal              2 – 15 times, last: Sept. 10, 2011; RSL @ SEA

Shots                           4 – 4 times, last: May 28, 2011; RSL v. SEA

Fouls Committed         4 – 2 times, last: Aug. 14, 2010; RSL v. CLB

Fouls Suffered            5 – Oct. 1, 2011; RSL @ LA

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