Home Canadian Soccer Stop the trade talk! Canadian Will Johnson committed to RSL

Stop the trade talk! Canadian Will Johnson committed to RSL

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Canadian international Will Johnson penned a new contract with Real Salt Lake on Tuesday. The deal extends Johnson’s stay with RSL to 2014.

But, still, Canada-fuelled rumours of a trade to Toronto FC or another Canadian club won’t go away.

Give it up, people.

The terms of Johnson’s new contract were not made public, but RSL general manage Garth Lagerwey said the midfielder will be getting a raise. Johnson made a little less than US$90,000 in 2010.

Johnson is the anti-Teal Bunbury. Like Bunbury, Johnson has a Canadian passport, but has spent most of his life outside this country. Unlike Bunbury, Johnson chose to play for Canada — which has made him a folk hero in the eyes of Canadian fans who are all too used to seeing eligible men’s national-teamers choosing to play for other nations.

That has manifested itself into a romantic notion that, somehow, Johnson dreams of playing for Toronto FC. And, from major newspapers like the Globe and Mail to message boards, the Johnson rumours continue to surface.

Despite the fact that he grew up in Chicago. The Blackhawks are his favourite NHL team.

Johnson, who comes from a family of academics, is enrolled in three to four classes a semester at the University of Utah. He’s dedicated to finishing his education. RSL confirmed that he just bought a home in the Salt Lake City area.

Last year, Johnson insisted that he wanted to play nowhere else than Real Salt Lake.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said in a 2010 interview I did with him. “I found a home here. I’ve had a lot of success. I think I have started every game since I’ve been here. And that’s what I wanted. I had offers to stay in Europe but I chose to come back to MLS because I wanted to play.”

Talk to anyone around RSL, and they marvel at Johnson’s work ethic, from coach Jason Kreis to the broadcast crew.

So, while Johnson proudly wears a red Canadian national-team jersey, don’t expect him to trade it in for a red TFC jersey, or a blue Whitecaps shirt, anytime soon. Or at all.

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