Eddie Johnson sees the nearly 40,000 people that crowd CenturyLink Field for each Sounders FC home match and wonders what those Rave Green clad fans would look like in red, white and blue.
On June 11, he will find out as the Sounders FC’s home stadium will play host to the United States Men’s National Team in their World Cup Qualifying match against Panama.
“I can’t wait. This is my office,” Johnson said. “I play here week in and week out and the fans here in Seattle have been amazing to me and the team in the year and a half I’ve been here. To wear the red, white and blue shirt here in front of these guys is going to be an honor and a dream come true.”
Johnson was one of 29 players named to the US squad, nine of whom are MLS players, who were called in for friendly matches against Belgium and Germany, as well as three WCQ matches against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. He will stay with the Sounders through their match against the LA Galaxy on May 26, then join the US for their training camp that will include friendlies on May 29 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, against Belgium and on June 2 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC against Germany.
Their three World Cup Qualifying matches will come against Jamaica on June 7 in Kingston, June 11 against Panama at CenturyLink Field and June 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, against Honduras.
The June 11 match versus Panama at CenturyLink Field will be the first qualifier in Seattle since the U.S. beat Canada, 2-0, on October 20, 1976. CenturyLink Field also hosted the U.S. National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2005 and 2009. The last time the U.S. played at CenturyLink Field was on July 4, 2009, in a 4-0 victory against Grenada in the opener of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“For Seattle to get a chance and see the best players in America play in front of them is just going to draw that many more people,” Johnson said. “It’s going to give us that advantage and we couldn’t ask for a better stadium and better fans to give us that advantage over Panama.”
Johnson has 14 goals in 48 caps for the US National Team. He will miss two matches while away on international duty, including June 1 against Chivas USA and June 8 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.