101212_johnsoneddiedempseyclint_isi_usmntjt1012123524 John Todd/isiphotos.com
Direct from Sarajevo

Eddie Johnson Talks #DempseyWatch, USMNT

One of Clint Dempsey's new teammates dishes to ASN about his fateful tweet and discusses why Major League Soccer is a perfect launching pad for finding playing time with the red, white, and blue.

BY Graham Ruthven Posted
August 12, 2013
3:44 PM
SARAJEVO, Bosnia—Clint Dempsey’s return to MLS has sparked intense debate over how big or small the gap between America’s top flight and Europe’s top leagues is. While the United States domestic league is still pales in comparison to divisions like the English Premier League, Eddie Johnson, one of Dempsey’s new teammates at Seattle, believes the days of an MLS handicap are a thing of the past.

"If I’m scoring goals for Seattle in MLS that puts me in the discussion to start [U.S.] games. I don’t think it matters where you play your football, whether it’s MLS or the Premier League. It’s about how much you push yourself and what results you get,” he said after practice with the Stars and Stripes on Monday.

Johnson flew into Sarajevo from Munich with fellow Sounder Brad Evans on Monday morning, before settling into the team’s city center hotel and heading for training at a modest venue on the outskirts.

Of course one Sounder was missing: Dempsey. Jurgen Klinsmann left his captain off the 23-man roster for the trip to Bosnia, instead choosing to focus on the USA’s European-based core of players with the MLS season in full flow.

“He’s a huge signing, not only for Seattle but for the league as well,” Johnson gushed. “We’re good friends and it’s great to have a player of that caliber playing in MLS at his peak. I really feel it can promote the sport even further in the States. He couldn’t have come to a better environment than Seattle, where we average about 40,000 fans a game, have a proven coach and a good team, and I can’t wait to see him back with the national team.”

Amid the fervor and delirium surrounding #DempseyWatch Johnson tweeted he knew nothing of any deal, adding his good friend would have "spilled the beans" to him. Did Dempsey leave his friend Johnson in the dark or was it all a smokescreen?

“I made that tweet not knowing a thing,” Johnson laughed. “I didn’t know anything about it and I was pissed off at him for not telling me before I made a fool of myself. He literally showed up at Seattle and didn’t give me the inside scoop.

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