U.S. WC hopeful Eddie Johnson provides pinpoint assist, exits with apparent injury
D.C. United forward Eddie Johnson is yet to score for his new club after joining from the Seattle Sounders in the offseason, and it's certainly not helping his chances of landing what once seemed like a surefire place on the U.S. World Cup roster.
However, he did set up teammate Fabián Espíndola, another offseason acquisition, right before halftime in D.C.'s 4-1 win over Western Conference-leading FC Dallas on Saturday. After drifting wide to the right flank as play developed, Johnson bent a ball with his right foot around the Dallas back line and right onto Espíndola's head for the close-range equalizer.
Watch Johnson's effort below:
While the top-class assist will help offset his lack of goals, Johnson might have another thing to worry about in U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision-making process: an apparent hamstring injury. Six minutes into the second half, Johnson limped off the field and was replaced by Conor Doyle. After ambling to the sideline, Johnson appeared to point to his left hamstring while speaking to D.C. United's training staff.
D.C., which had a man advantage after the 39th minute when Dallas' Zach Loyd was sent off (and then finished 11-v-9 when Michel received his marching orders in the 89th minute) ran rampant over a 10-minute stretch after Johnson's departure. Defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin -- also offseason additions -- scored in the 60th and 64th minutes, respectively, and Espindola capped off a two-goal, one-assist day with his 69th-minute tally.
Resurgent D.C. has now won three of its last four games -- matching last season's entire win total -- and is unbeaten in five, while Dallas fell for the second time in three games after starting the year 4-0-1. Speaking to reporters after the game, D.C. head coach Ben Olsen said Johnson's injury wasn't serious, and he could have played through it if he had to. Olsen added that he expected Johnson to be available for training next week.