With a deep midfield, newly acquired Will Johnson looks set to fit in nicely and push for minutes.
While the back line wasnt living up to its expectations last season, midfielders like Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado, Benoit Cheyrou and captain Michael Bradley helped carry the teams transitional phase with stellar passes and building up an attack that was feared by many.
Now, with a new addition in Canadian Will Johnson, the midfield position looks to be the deepest part of the team. Johnson joins an already stacked lineup and there are even players behind him that, if he doesn’t succeed right away, could lose his spot.
Johnson spoke to the media on Wednesday when the club practised again in Toronto, before leaving for Orlando on Sunday. “I’m open to whatever,” said Johnson about what role he could see himself play.
“I’ve played in a few different positions in the midfield over the course of my career. A few different formations. Been pretty successful wherever I’ve gone. I’m a team player, I’m willing to do and fit in wherever I’m needed.”
Johnson played as a defensive midfielder last season, before he re injured his tibia. It was the second time Johnson missed time due to a gruesome accident at BMO Field in 2014. Looking to be regaining his strength, having Johnson available anywhere in the middle is something that is very key to the Reds. That is the kind of versatility you want to see from a player.
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Now you may ask, well it seems TFC are favouring a 4-3-3 formation, and the centre is highly likely going to be Bradley’s position. While that is true, having Johnson coming off the bench is never a bad thing. The Canadian can easily sub on for Bradley and could replace him while the USMNT is competing in the Copa America in the summer. If not taking Bradley off, maybe swapping off for Delgado or Osorio on the wings.
Vanney will have a lot of help in the midfield, but will need to rotate his formation at times so everyone can contribute. It is not like the 4-3-3 lineup is set in stone. It is just one that Vanney could use more often, and if it doesn’t work, then surely he will change his players around.
This looks to be a big year for Johnson. New team, hometown and a MLS Cup push is a must. It is never easy to come back from an injury, especially one that serious. However, if there is one person you need to trust, Johnson is your man.