[AMERICANS ABROAD] It seems that Eddie Johnson's Mexican adventure has ended before it really got started.
Multiple outlets in Mexico reported Monday that the former U.S. international has been jettisoned by Puebla for lack of fitness. Released by Fulham last May after being loaned out several times, Johnson, 27, began training with Puebla on Friday.
“He arrived under the condition that we would take a look at the player, as he hadn't played for a long time,” Puebla spokesperson Hugo Fernandez said in a statement released to several media outlets. "He didn't pass the test in three training sessions … and he's not staying."
The club has turned to other possible acquisitions as it prepares for the start of the Clausura season at home against Atlas on Sunday. Johnson had been contacted by Puebla at the behest of U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who joined the Mexican team last summer and scored two goals in 16 matches as Puebla finished 12th overall with a 6-7-4 record.
Johnson has 12 goals in 42 U.S. appearances. He played three international games in 2010 but failed to get a spot on the World Cup roster and wasn’t utilized last year. If he wished to rejoin MLS, the league would have to decide if he’d be assigned a club through the allocation process – as is usually the case for U.S. internationals -- or go through a weighted lottery, as Lee Nguyen did Dec. 15. Vancouver, one of six teams to participate in the lottery, acquired Nguyen's rights.
Johnson played for FC Dallas and Kansas City from 2001 to 2007 before MLS transferred him to Fulham for 3 million pounds (about $4.6 million) in January, 2008. He scored two goals in 65 league appearances for Fulham, Cardiff, and Preston North End, and has been a free agent since last summer.