Rising Star: Eddie Johnson

POS.: Forward
HOMETOWN: Palm Coast, Fla.
CLUB: Dallas Burn


STARTING OUT: I'm from the inner city, the projects. I wasn't into soccer. But all my friends were two years older and playing on this recreational team. One day, when I was 9, I played and I loved it. I joined their U-11 team because I wanted to be the best among my friends.

FIRST CLEATS: Pink, purple and blue Mitres from WalMart.

CURRENT CLEATS: Red and silver Nike Vapors.

OTHER SPORTS: Pop Warner football, running back, from sixth grade to high school. Traveling-team basketball in middle school.

FAVORITE TEAMS: Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid.


HOBBIES: Going to the mall and looking at the girls.

MUSIC: Rap, but I love all kinds. 50 Cent is my current favorite.

READING: I'm really trying to get into it.

WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH? Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker, Jim Carrey.

FOUR FAMOUS PEOPLE YOU'D INVITE TO DINNER? God, Michael Jordan, Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane.

FAMILY: My mom, Lewana Johnson, has been single since I was born. My dad's never been in the picture. I have a sister, Shauntea Johnson, 20, and a brother, Cecil Hubbert, 17.

GOING PRO: When I was U-13s, people told me I'd be a pro in 10 years. I never thought I'd sign with MLS at 16 and play MLS with guys like Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda and John Harkes. I looked up to them growing up.

SKIPPING COLLEGE: Sometimes I call some of my buddies and hear the parties in the background. It seems they're always partying; never having bad days. In soccer, sometimes things are going bad. But I really don't have any regrets. I love what I do.

by Soccer America Assistant Editor Bryan Alvarez

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