Here's some of what Sounders forward Eddie Johnson had to say in a conference call this afternoon, while at the airport on his way to join the U.S. national team in Miami.
"It feels good," he said to the obvious question. "It’s been a long road, a lot of hurdles I had to overcome, a lot of adversity I had to face. The good feeling about all of this is I get to share it with the people that believed in me: Chris Henderson, Sigi, Dave Tenney and Adrian, them acquiring me for Seattle, give me a second chance so I can get out there and show everyone that I can have success at a high level and I can still be someone who plays an important role in a big organization like the Seattle Sounders."
Earlier in the day, Klinsmann had credited Sounders coach Sigi Schmid for helping get Johnson's career back on track.
"I've spoken many many times over the last couple of months with Sigi, 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. And 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 struggled in Europe, and Sigi found a way to get him back on track, and 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 old buddies. I think he really deserves that call."
Johnson said he agrees with that:
"For sure. Credit goes all to Sigi. When he sat me down when I first arrived he said it’s all about trust: You trusting in me, me trusting in you, and us all believing in our one goal as an organization: to win MLS Cup. … As a player it’s important whenever you’re playing for a manager that has confidence in you, and Sigi had confidence in me from Day One, as well as Chris Henderson and Adrian (Hanauer). I told him I just want to pay him back for giving me a second chance."
Here's the rest of what Johnson had to say: