CHESTER, PA - OCTOBER 12: Eddie Johnson #9 of the United States gets tripped up by a sliding Mario Yepes #3 of Colombia at PPL Park on October 12, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
It was 2008, Eddie Johnson was one of the biggest rising stars in American and was earning a lot of attention for his MLS performances. He used that increased profile to leave Kansas City and head over to England. He ended up joining Fulham where he made only a few appearances over the next few years. His time in England was not marked by Premier League success like his Fulham teammate Clint Dempsey has found but was instead a string of loans. Johnson spent time at Cardiff City, Aris, and Preston North End where he enjoyed success but not enough to earn a new contract with Fulham.
It was only six months ago that Johnson seemed set to return to MLS with a deal reportedly in place but he ended up pulling out of the deal and signing for Puebla of Mexico instead. After failing to make a single appearance for the club his return to MLS is back on and his destination will be determined on Friday.
As a player who has played for the US National Team Johnson's rights will be decided by the allocation order meaning that if Toronto FC are interested in his services they will be in with a good chance of winning his rights. According to the official MLS allocation order TFC are currently 4th in the order and chances are that at least the Vancouver Whitecaps (2nd) will have no interest in adding another forward. The good news is that this time around Johnson will almost certainly come with a much lower price tag then he commanded back in 2008. When he played for Sporting Kansas City Johnson was earning $875,000 and commanded a transfer fee north of $5 million when he went to Fulham. Those days are gone now though as his fall from grace would certainly mean that this time around he will not command DP money.
He could fit in on Toronto FC as the 27 year old would represent another reclamation project. This one with a very high potential reward as he continues to possess the skills that saw him score 15 goals for SKC. Toronto is also a team that is lacking in veteran depth at forward with the only real back up options behind Danny Koevermans are young guys barely removed from the academy.
In the end it is hard to say if Toronto will even go in for Johnson but with their position in the allocation order they would be in with a chance if they do go after him. We will have to wait until tomorrow to find out just where the American international lands.