Timbers' Eddie Johnson announces retirement

The former Manchester United youth academy player announced his retirement due to battling several injuries.
Portland Timbers forward Eddie Johnson has announced his retirement from professional soccer. Johnson retires after a 10-year professional career, playing for clubs in England and the United States.

Johnson, 27, was one of the Timbers’ first MLS players, signing with the club on Oct. 19, 2010. He appeared in seven league matches and scored a goal against Toronto FC during Portland’s inaugural MLS season in 2011. Johnson’s time with Portland was limited by a series of injuries over the past two seasons.

“I very much appreciate all the help and support I’ve received from everyone with the club,” said Johnson. “It’s never an easy decision to retire, but I feel great about what I was able to accomplish, the connections I made in the game, and the opportunities it presented. My top priorities are my health and my young family, and I am looking forward to my future.”

Johnson has been out since February after sustaining a third concussion.

“On behalf of everyone involved with the club, I would like to thank Eddie for his time with us,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. “We understand and respect his difficult decision and wish Eddie and his family all the best.”

A native of Chester, England, Johnson began his professional career at age 17 with famed English side Manchester United, making his debut with the first team during the 2003-04 season. In total, he played in 133 league games over seven seasons in Europe, which included time with English sides Coventry City (2004-05) and Crewe Alexandra (2005-06) on loan, Bradford City FC (2006-08) and his hometown club Chester City FC (2008-09).

Johnson made the move to the United States in 2009, joining the second-division Austin Aztex. He became the Aztex’s all-time leading scorer after just two seasons with the club, compiling 20 goals and eight assists in 50 matches. Johnson finished the 2010 season as the second-leading scorer in the USSF Divison-2 Pro League with 14 goals and was named to the league’s Best XI that season. He was also an all-league selection for the Aztex after his first season with the club in 2009.

Prior to his professional career, Johnson helped Manchester United’s youth side claim the 2002-03 Youth FA Cup and was a member of England’s youth national team system from the U-16 to U-20 levels.