Why Johnson and not, say, Jozy Altidore? For one thing, Eddie is an established international who would have a far easier time obtaining one of those tricky British work permits than Altidore, who's yet to be called up to the senior national team. For another, he's a more mature player than young Jozy (who's still only 17), and he's having his best-ever season in MLS, with 15 goals and 6 assists to his name in just 23 games.
That said, Johnson's was ineffective against the Red Bulls, missing a PK in a 2-1 loss, and it was Altidore whom the scout spoke with after the match, not Johnson, according to Galarcep. Either one would make a smart addition to a Newcastle's notoriously injury-prone frontline, because both are young, and both are free agents at the end of the season. Altidore may not qualify for a work permit, however.