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October 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It’s official: Eddie Johnson one of 24 players called up by U.S. national team

us logo small.jpgBy now it comes as little surprise, but Eddie Johnson has been called up by the U.S. national team.

The Sounders FC forward jumped the gun and tweeted as much Friday night, which might not have been the wisest move suggests the folks at ProSoccerTalk. Johnson declined to comment on the potential call-up after Sunday’s game.

For Johnson, who leads the Sounders with a franchise-record 14 goals, it is his first call-up since 2010.

Here is USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann on the call-up:

“I’ve spoken over the last couple of months with (Sounders coach Sigi Schmid), and I think Sigi has done a tremendous job with him,” Klinsmann said. “I think Eddie is back in that position because he worked very, very hard for it. If you watch his games and his drive, his hunger that he has, the way he chases defenders and the way he creates for himself and his striking partner chances, the way he also finishes things off — that speaks for him. He’s not a newcomer. He was part of the program over the last, whatever, 10 years or so. He had difficult times; he went through that. He had struggled in Europe, and Sigi found a way to get him back on track. It’s exciting to see. We already played with that thought for the last camp. I think this camp opened the door for him. Now we are curious to see him in the middle of his buddies. I think he really deserves that call.”

And on the Twitter reveal?

“We’ll have a talk about that tonight .. no I’m just kidding,” Klinsmann said with a laugh. “No worries at all from my end.”

Klinsmann noted that his recent frustration with forward Jozy Altidore, who was not called up, left an opening on the squad. The coach preferred Johnson and San Jose’s Alan Gordon over guys like Terrence Boyd and MLS’s leading scorer Chris Wondolowski due, in part, to their aerial ability.

Here is the full squad called up by coach Klinsmann for qualifier at Antigua & Barbuda on Friday and at home against Guatemala on Oct. 16 in Kansas City:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

* * *

You might remember Schmid said that hypothetically if a player was at the Oct. 16 game, he still could be available the following day in a crucial game for playoff seeding against Real Salt Lake. You’ll notice the RSL pair of Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando have also been called up.

Johnson, who has eight career goals in World Cup qualifying, is the third Sounder called up for international duty. Midfielder Mario Martinez left the Sounders last week to join up with Honduras and defender Adam Johansson is off to Sweden.

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