Age: 29 (born Dec. 11, 1987)
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach (Gladbach)
Club Number: 19
National Number: 23
Born: Muncih, Germany
US Soccer History: 2014 World Cup, Debut 2011, First goal 2014 vs Turkey (Friendly)
I rate Fabian Johnson as the top US player on our current squad. This is consistent with ASN’s 100 where he sits at Number 1 and Four Four Two’s ranking has him listed as 1 also. Fabian is a quiet unassuming player who we have yet to really unleash on the US squad as he’s often been tasked with moving around to different positions including most of his time being spend at left back for the US national team.
Fabian however is a natural midfielder and plays there for Borussia Mönchengladbach (Gladbach) in the German Bundesliga. He was born in Munich, Germany and is the son of an African-American serviceman from Chicago who played professional basketball in Germany. Johnson’s mother is German-American with her roots in Boston. His parents spent much of their early life in American before deciding to settle in Germany. He grew up speaking English at home and always considered himself both American and German (not either or).
Fabian grew up representing Germany and was a starting member of the 2009 U21 European Champions. Six of his teammates went on to win the 2014 World Cup. However, the senior team didn’t bring him up and his professional career hit a speed bump as he had just left 1860 Munich for VfL Wolfsburg where he spent much of his time on the bench. In 2011 he then moved on Hoffenheim where he landed in midfield, his more comfortable position, and revived his playing career. At the same time he was being courted by Jurgen Klinsmann, a legend. Fabian came over and spent 10 days with the team, after which his mind was made up and he made the one time citizenship change to the US. He never looked back.
“The idea never crossed my mind. I just felt instantly comfortable during those first days with the U.S. team. I made my decision—and I’m happy with it.”
Many ask him sometimes what could have been had he stuck it out and tried to make the German team, he doesn’t regret it – he loves having the experience he’s gained from playing for the US team. Fabian instantly became an permanent member of the US squad and the biggest question and argument have been over where can he best be utilized. Since his his debut he’s had 42 caps
In 2014 he left his club to join Gladbach where’s he’s been since then. In the 2014-2015 season many rated him as one of the top midfielders in the league. Fabian doesn’t have the flash or the goal scoring prowess that some of our strikers or the dangerous Christian Pulisic has, but his steady, consistent and quality play make him the best US player in our current pool.
Fabian injured his Achilles two weeks ago and is going to spend some time away from the field. We hope he’ll heal quickly and get back in time for our qualifiers, we’ll need him.
Here’s a compilation of his top five goals: