While 2015 may be winding down, U.S. world cup veteran Fabian Johnson has been turning it up for club and country. With Champions League, Bundesliga and World Cup qualifying all on his plate the last 30 days, the Brorussia Mönchengladbach midfielder has made a huge impact, scoring five goals spanning four matches that were at times as classy as they were significant.
In the span of seven matches, the 27-year-old netted twice in the Champions League – including against last year’s runner up Juventus – two in one game against Hoffenheim that led to a spot on the Bundesliga Team of the Week, and the game-winning goal against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the MNT’s 6-1 victory to open 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Johnson’s strike for the USA came from a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and marked his first of the year for the National Team and the second of his international career. He then contributed 90 minutes four days later when the U.S. picked up a point on the road against Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 17 in Port of Spain.
Johnson made his way back to Germany to continue his stride for ‘Gladbach, netting three times in three days. In the Champions League match against Sevilla, Johnson collected the ball with one touch and fantastically curled the ball between two defenders and the goalkeeper in the 4-3 win.
Johnson proved to be a hero for his club by scoring both the opener and the tying goal on Nov. 28 against his former team, ultimately earning Bundesliga Player of the Week. Setting the match off on the right foot, Johnson cut into the box after losing a defender to receive a well-placed ball that he then slotted past the goalkeeper in the fifth minute. After Johnson’s opener, the game teetered back and forth until the final whistle with Johnson having the final say. In the 87th minute, Johnson ran into the opposition box where he faked out two defenders and drove a strike out of reach of the goalkeeper to equalize the game at 3-3. The draw helped Mönchengladbach climb up one spot in the Bundesliga standings to fourth overall.
Johnson and ‘Gladbach face their stiffest test of the season when they welcome defending champion and league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday (9:30 a.m. ET – FS1, foxsoccer2go). Here’s hoping Fabian continues to make the holiday season a reason to celebrate…