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September 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Eddie Johnson explains why things are clicking for him this season

johnson ne.jpgPhoto credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson, who has set a franchise record for goals in a season with 13, spoke with the media earlier this week. One reporter asked him why he’s been able to do so well in the air (Johnson’s nine headed goals are the most in a season since MLS began tracking how goals were scored in 2003).

Johnson first credited practice, dating back to when he was teammates with Brian McBride, a former U.S. international and Fulham star known well for his aerial abilities.

Then Johnson continued:

“I think the difference is I’ve added to my game now. I’m a lot older, a lot wiser, and I’m putting myself in position where it allows me to head in the ball versus earlier in my career when I used to drift out wide, outside of the (penalty box), and try to take players on. I never really played within the 18-yard box. Right now, with my experience, I’m trying to compare myself with the rest of the forwards in the world: ‘This guy’s a top forward and plays for a big team, but I have more athletic ability than him and I’m faster than him. What makes him score so many goals? How is he effective?’ It’s the little things — hard running in the box, finding spaces. … (Chris Wondolowski) is going to bust his butt to get in those seams within the 18-yard box, and that’s where we make our money. We don’t make our money outside the box. It’s taken me to 28 (years old) to figure it out, but I’m glad I figured it out.”

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