Report: Johnson to sign with Moenchengladbach this summer

1899 Hoffenheim v Hamburger SV  - Bundesliga

By FRANCO PANIZO

Hoffenheim winger Fabian Johnson may be changing addresses this summer, but he will not be leaving the German Bundesliga.

Johnson is set to sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach as a free agent during the upcoming summer transfer window, according to a report from German outlet Kicker. It was confirmed early last week that Johnson would be leaving Hoffenheim after his contract expires at season’s end and he has previously been linked with a move to Moenchengladbach, which have formerly employed U.S. Men’s National Team players Michael Bradley and Kasey Keller.

The versatile Johnson, 26, has made nine starts in 13 appearances for Hoffenheim this season. The club, who he has been with since the 2011-12 season, is currently in 11th place in the Bundesliga.

By contrast, Moenchengladbach currently sit in fifth place and occupy a Europa League spot. They are four points shy of the Bundesliga’s UEFA Champions League qualifiers position.

—–

What do you think of Johnson reportedly moving to Hoffenheim? Like the move? Wishing he would have tried his luck in a different league?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Report: Johnson to sign with Moenchengladbach this summer

  1. AC says:

    Moving on up

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It’s a tentative move to pre-sign now instead of seeing how far Brazil could take him. Limit your own value. If you’re selling up the ladder.

      • AC says:

        True but still a smart business decision as he’s tied down now instead of the risky free agent world. Now obviously a good World Cup could have given him other opportunities, or not. Then again, if God forbid, he gets injured before the World Cup, he now has security of a contract. But I see your point though.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          He may not have any “security of contract.” At most he signed a pre-contract with M’gladbach—which could very likely include a fitness clause for the club to opt out. (And other clauses that would allow FabJo to opt out.)

          Still, it looks like a great move from him. Assume he wants to stay in Germany: what are the chances that Bayern Munich, Bayer, or Dortmund would sign him even if he had a great World Cup? Or, put another way: how likely is it that he would have a WC magical enough to catch their interest?

          He has some kind of agreement with a very good club. Smart.

  2. josh says:

    As long as he gets more paying time he’ll be alright

  3. beto says:

    Good move up FJ

  4. bryan says:

    great move for him, glad to see him staying in Germany.

  5. DanO says:

    Why make this announcement now? I assume he can’t have a binding contract at this point. A lot can happen between now and the start of next season, both good and bad.

  6. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Can anyone comment on Moenchengladbach’s (thanks ctrl + v) fullback situation? Is this a step up for FabJo or will he just be used as a backup?

  7. patrick says:

    good move for Fabian, excited to see how good he can be

  8. Gunnerstahl says:

    Now Cameron needs to move to top 6 EPL club break them into Europa or Champions League.

    • Central Scrutinizer says:

      I like Cameron and am a big supporter of any of our USMNT players. I have watched Stoke play many times this year. I don’t see that Cameron is a player who could displace the defenders of the top 6 EPL teams. Cameron defends well, his service has improved, but he’s still pretty limited offensively compared to the top fullbacks. He seems fortunate to have a manager in Hughes who supports him and plays him every week. My assessment is that Cameron likely would struggle for playing time if he moves up — and I haven’t heard any rumours that there is interest among the top clubs.

      • Joe C. says:

        I think this post is a pretty spot-on analysis.

      • GW says:

        CS.

        Your view of Cameron seems to be consistent with JK’s view. Cameron is not exactly what JK wants in a right back, i.e. a healthy Dolo, so he has been giving others in the pool a shot at it.

        In the meantime, Cameron, who is a certainty for Brazil, is getting his reps at right back for Stoke.

        I suspect JK has been giving players other than Cameron their shot at right back all this time because he wants Evans /Parkhurst, et.al., to have some incentive to make the position their own.

        Those two in particular have drawn heavy criticism from the SBI cheap seats but the USMNT has only lost two games in qualifying for Brazil and Evans/Parkhurst have more or less gotten their reps in.

        There are a couple of months to go and it is clear JK is content to let it play out and see whether Dolo returns, or whether anyone else makes a case for right back.

        When June rolls around, if all the other candidates are not up to it then you will likely see Cameron at right back. If they are, then you might see Cameron at center back instead of Gonzo, who could be left off the roster depending on a number of things. Cameron is a typical combo center/full back defender who can also fill in at defensive midfield. Manchester United fans will recognize a younger John O’Shea or perhaps Phil Jones in Cameron.

        • RealMenChewGum says:

          I also think this is essentially going on. And at this point it looks like it is going to be Cameron by default when the WC rolls around.

          I’ve been hoping all cycle that Klinsmann would experiment a little and try out a 3-4-3 (or 3-4-1-2 or some variation). I think the 3 CB formation would be an ideal fit for the personnel the US have – they really lack a talented, pure fullback on either side. Alas, it was a little too unorthodox for Klinsmann to ever try it, but it would have been cool to see something like:

          —————Altidore—————Donovan————
          ————————–Dempsey————————–
          FabJo——–Bradley——–Jones——-Bedoya/Zusi
          ——-Besler———-Gonzalez——–Cameron—-
          —————————–Howard————————-

          Obviously, the lineup up top could be switched around a bit, but I just really would have liked to see how something like this would have worked out defensively. Like I said, I think it really would play to the strengths of Besler, Gonzo, and Cameron.

          • GW says:

            RMCG,

            You may yet see a three man back line. Arena deployed it in the 2002 WC on very short notice and made an immortal out of both Rafa Marquez and Cobi Jones. Oh and the US won 2-0.

            But the real reason , I suspect , that JK hasn’t used it is because he doesn’t have the center backs for it.

            Oh and they may not have the wing backs for it either.

            But we were discussing center backs.

            Juve does it and they have Chiellinni. There isn’t anyone in the USMNT pool who resembles that guy.
            even on a bad day.

            I rate Cameron a little higher as a soccer player than Gonzo but he has his flaws as a center back. And frankly, for all the home grown hype, Gonzo and Besler are still international newbies in positions that tend to benefit from experience.

            People on SBI are famously worried about the US full backs when they should be soiling their pantalones over the center backs.

            I’m hoping Goodson surprises me and plays the best games of his life in Brazil.

            • Robbie says:

              I doubt we see a 3 man back line… I agree that in some ways, the entire back line is shaky… yet our options are much better than the Jonathan Bornstein years!

            • JoshW says:

              You said it, man. I’d take Bocanegra / JD over Besler / Gonzo. Klinsmann talks about the spine of the team and omits any reference to the CBs. Maybe a different pairing will emerge. Parkhurst / Brooks?

            • Nate Dollars says:

              “People on SBI are famously worried about the US full backs when they should be soiling their pantalones over the center backs.”

              that’s a good point. but i think people comment more on the fullback scenario because they feel that there are better options than have been playing there (fabian>beas, cameron>evans).

              that’s really not the case for center backs. i don’t think too many people are high on goodson, and unless we expect cameron to move to a position that he hasn’t played regularly in years, we’re kind of “stuck” with besler and gonzo.

      • beto says:

        another way to say it, Cameron is perfect for Stoke. not so much for most other teams employing a different style than Stoke.

        not a knock on his qualities just he is in a really good fit right now and a move to another team would require him to change roles .. probably to CB or CDM.

        most teams look for that smaller, speeder, overlaping, crossing (think Dani Alves, Kyle Walker, Dolo) type out of a RB he is certainly a different type of RB that plays more like an outside CB.

        • Joe C. says:

          I would add the caveat that, while he isn’t “flash” on the wings, he’s really a surprisingly effective dribbler and crosser. Which European friendly was it where he dribbled all the way up to the front line from the back, then sort of looked surprised to be there?

        • user222 says:

          most of what you said is true…

          in 2014 I wouldn’t write “speeder” and Dolo in the same sentence… Stevies crosses are more like loopers nowadays when they need to be ropes..

          Time to move up.

      • John says:

        Thats funny because if you read Stoke message boards they all say they like what he gives going forward on the ball but its been his defending thats lacked this year.

      • Don the Jewler says:

        I like Cameron too and don’t disagree with your assessment, but if Hughes did not need to use him as a RB and played him as a CB I think he might be even better. Cameron has the smarts, ball skill and qualities that you look for in a CB. Don’t be surprised if Jurgen has him at CB in Brazil – even with Chandler no longer in the picture.

  9. JayAre says:

    Hope the coach won’t start benching him.

  10. yikes says:

    didn’t Bradley play with them for a while before they became a CL/EL type club?

    and Kasey Keller?

    • fair observer says:

      didn’t you read the article that you’re commenting on….. it mentioned that

    • unbeknownst says:

      They won Champions’ League/Cup in 1977, so no, they’re a historic German team.

      • Dane96 says:

        Very historic team. Went down on hard times financially with the rest of the NW-Rhein region (generally speaking) in the 80’s-mid 90’s. Industry is blossoming again up and down the River, and there has been an influx of cash.

        The rivalry with Borussia Dortmund and Koln is excellent.

        • Paul says:

          That area (Nord-Rhein Westphalen) is a great area for football and football fans. I used to live there and attend FC Koeln games. There are a lot of teams in the area: Dortmund, Leverkeusen, Koeln(Koln), Moenchengladbach, and Fortuna Dusseldorf. With the exception of Dusseldorf, they all have very strong local support.

          By the way, Karneval just started this week in the area.

    • GW says:

      Back in the 70’s when West Germany was dominating the world of football, Die Mannshaft was composed primarily of two clubs Bayern Munich and BMG.

      Bayern remained consistently at the top but BMG fellon hard times.

      Google them if you want the details.

  11. Dane96 says:

    Very excited by this because my company is based in MG and we are a corporate sponsor. I hold supporters club season tix in the SRO section and get to see about 3-4 matches a year. Great fan support, great stadium, very solid leadership, and a very financially stable organization.

    He will be well liked and a great member of Die Fohlen!!!

  12. TomG says:

    Curious about whether he had discussions w/ Gladbach manager re: what position he would play. He’s been very high on playing midfield in the past and I wonder whether position played a role in the transfer.

  13. oxmi says:

    what is it about germany and england that attracted so many of our Yanks?

    how come many of our boys never played in France in the 90’s or today?

  14. Nate says:

    Surprised to see him make this deal now. For a rising star like him, about to get his shot at a World Cup, I think it would be in his best interest to wait. The worst that happens is he gets injured, but the best is that he makes a real positive impact on the world’s stage and gets a look from bigger clubs and more money. I’m pretty pessimistic about the US’ chances this WC, but I do think there’s a good chance Johnson will make a good impression there.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Nate: I’m not sure on the details, but isn’t the transfer window closed? Meaning, this deal cannot be finalized for a while. I don’t know if that means post-WC….?

      • Shyam says:

        The deal can be finalized, but he can’t start playing till next year.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Okay, I had time to look up the FIFA rules (in “Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players”). No deal can be finalized outside the registration period (aka transfer window). At most they could sign a pre-contract with FabJo—but I see no mention of that in the article. (Even then, depending on the details, pre-contracts are not binding.)

          And when is the registration period in the Bundesliga? Answer: 1 July – 31 August. Thus, FabJo will have played 3 World Cup matches (and in our wildest dreams, 4 matches) *before* the official transfer window.

    • GW says:

      “Johnson is set to sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach as a free agent during the upcoming summer transfer window, according to a report from German outlet Kicker. It was confirmed early last week that Johnson would be leaving Hoffenheim after his contract expires at season’s end and he has previously been linked with a move to Moenchengladbach, ”

      Nate,

      If you read this article on SBI:

      link to soccerbyives.net

      You will see that this move probably has been in the works for a while.

      Given his injury history it is possible he might not have even gotten on the field for the USMNT in Brazil.

      Had Johnson done as you suggested, he potentially could have had a very turbulent off season not knowing where he was going to play and then signing at the last minute.

      Maybe Fabian is one of those guys who prefers the stability of knowing what he is doing ahead of time.

      Maybe the peace of mind he now has will help him play better in Brazil.

    • Frank says:

      Clubs like Man Utd,City,Bayern,Real,Barca,etc don`t buy players just because they had a few good games at a WC. And from a German perspective (read FJ`s perspective) Gladbach is bigger or equal to clubs like Everton or Aston Villa.

      So I don`t see how he would have been better off going into the WC as a free agent.

  15. user222 says:

    Johnson to sign as a free agent….

    so, Hoffenheim gets nothing in return for a player that they groomed in their youth system…

    Hoffenheim screwed up on this one…. too bad…

  16. Brain Guy says:

    Why, oh why couldn’t Michael Bradley figure out a move back to the Bundesliga? I know, I know – money, etc. But still . . .

  17. Weston John says:

    Sounds good…movin’ on up like George Jefferson.

    Soon (if all goes well), we’ll have 4 forwards in the Premier League as well.