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Will Johnson
Will Johnson - Canada - El Salvador July 7 2009.png
Personal information
Full name William David Johnson
Date of birth January 21, 1987 (1987-01-21) (age 22)
Place of birth Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder
Club information
Current club Real Salt Lake
Number 8
Youth career
1996–1998 Woodridge Storm
2003–2004 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 Chicago Fire Premier
2005 Chicago Fire 6 (1)
2006–2008 Heerenveen 14 (1)
2007–2008 De Graafschap (loan) 25 (2)
2008– Real Salt Lake 35 (3)
National team
2005–2007 Canada U-20 20 (4)
2008– Canada U-23 3 (3)
2005–present Canada 10 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 November, 2009.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 December 2009

William "Will" Johnson (born January 21, 1987 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian soccer player who currently plays for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer.


Club career



Johnson was born in Canada, but moved shortly afterwards to England where he started playing soccer, attending Merchant Taylors' Preparatory School for Boys in Crosby. When he was 10 his family once again moved, this time to Woodridge, Illinois, and he played youth soccer for Woodridge Storm and Downers Grove Roadrunners. Johnson would later return to England to play for the youth team of Blackburn Rovers in the 2003-04 season. However, after the season he left Blackburn and returned to Illinois.

Chicago Fire

In 2005, Johnson was signed by the Chicago Fire as a discovery player. Johnson played most of the year for the reserve team but he did play in six games for the senior team, where he scored a goal. After the year the Fire offered him a $28,000 contract, which he rejected. Johnson then went on a trial with Heerenveen, which was successful, and they signed him to a one year deal plus a club option for 2 more years.


He made 14 appearances, all as a sub, for Heerenveen in the 2006-2007 season, scoring the second goal in a 2-0 defeat of NEC Nijmegen on 27 December 2006. For the 2007-2008 season he was on loan to Doetinchem side De Graafschap, who were promoted as champions of the Dutch First Division. Again he mostly made sub appearances and he returned to SC Heerenveen for the 2008-09 season, although Heerenveen manager Trond Sollied did not see him as part of the first team plans and released him.

Real Salt Lake

Johnson signed with Major League Soccer on August 16, 2008. Chicago Fire traded his rights to Real Salt Lake in return for a conditional 4th round 2009 MLS Superdraft pick and a conditional 2nd round 2011 MLS Superdraft pick.[1]

Johnson won the MLS Goal of the Year in 2008 for a goal scored against FC Dallas on October, 18 in Rio Tinto Stadium. He was called up as a replacement for Shalrie Joseph in the 2009 MLS All-Star Game against English Premier League side Everton F.C. He started and played 45 minutes for Real Salt Lake in the 2009 MLS Cup final against the Los Angeles Galaxy despite a bout with food poisoning, with his side ultimately winning in a penalty shootout.

International career

In the summers of 2005 and 2007, Johnson played for the U-20 Canadian national team at the 2005 and 2007 World Youth Championships in the Netherlands and Canada respectively. Johnson also played very well for the Canada U-23 side during qualifying for the 2008 Olympics. Johnson scored 3 goals in 3 games during those matches.

He made his senior debut for Canada in a November 2005 friendly match against Luxembourg. By December 2009, he had earned a total of 10 caps, scoring no goals. He has so far represented Canada in 1 FIFA World Cup qualification match[2].


Johnson's grandfather is Brian Birch who had a successful career with Bolton Wanderers, picking up an FA Cup winners medal in 1958.[3]


Real Salt Lake


See also


External links


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