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Eddie Johnson response to Brian Ching’s criticism? “Scoreboard”

Jul 31, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT

South Korea v United States Getty Images

Brian Ching did a guest-hosting stint on a Houston podcast last week, and said Eddie Johnson is the sort of player who thrives in contract years.

On Thursday morning, Johnson responded by saying that Ching is just jealous and should look at the scoreboard.

Certainly Johnson is no stranger to controversy and Ching seems guilty of breaking something akin to hockey’s “code” in talking about an ex-teammate.

So what exactly did Ching say? And what was Johnson’s response? Does the latter make any sense?

First, Ching’s comments, thanks to the great Dynamo Theory:

“Played with him, you know, and he is one of those guys that every time he is getting close to playing for a contract or proving himself he goes out and he does his work and you’re like, ‘Wow okay!’

“But once he gets that contract or DP status he tends to disappear a little bit. It’s kind of like he is fighting so hard to prove that he’s good that when he gets there he just kind of stops doing the things that made him successful. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed about Eddie playing with him…

“If I was to sign him I would say ‘Hey here’s $10,000 a goal. You’re making $50,000 or you’re making $100,000 you want money score goals.’ He that kind of guy…He loses that drive, that mentality once he gets rewarded or gets his contract.”

EJ’s response:

The takeaway? A lot of hot air.

Say what you will about Ching’s choice to air his opinions (as a broadcaster), but it’s hard to find a lot of merit in Johnson’s jealousy argument. The only time the two were on the same team was with the United States — at times — from 2004-2010.

Ching scored 11 times in 45 matches, while Johnson has 19 goals in 63 matches. That gives EJ the advantage in goals-per-appearance at .30 to .24. Not a massive difference, but an edge nonetheless. Johnson is also correct that he has more caps than Ching.

But a lot of this is apples and oranges. Ching played nearly his entire career in Major League Soccer, while Johnson has bounced from team-to-team around the world in a journey that’s gone from the U.S. to England to Wales to Greece and back to the U.S. Both were snubbed from World Cup teams: Ching at 32 and Johnson at 30.

And how about the jealousy point? Who played more during their time on the national team before Ching’s cut from the 2010 roster (that Johnson made) effectively ended his time as an international?

Ching 4 apps, 2 goals
Johnson 3 apps, 5 goals

Johnson 6 apps, 3 goals
Ching 6 apps, 0 goals

Johnson 11 apps, 1 goal
Ching 9 apps, 2 goals

Johnson 11 apps, 2 goals
Ching 5 apps, 1 goal

Ching 7 apps, 4 goals
Johnson 6 apps, 1 goal

Ching 11 apps, 1 goal
Johnson 2 apps, 0 goals

Ching 2 apps, 1 goal
Johnson 3 apps, 0 goals

Totals (2004-2010):
Johnson 42 apps, 12 goals
Ching 44 apps, 11 goals

Not exactly margins for jealousy, though Johnson has probably had the more recognizable career. Still, isn’t this a case where Johnson is better off leaving well-enough alone, to rise above it? That’s not his reputation — and maybe Ching should’ve kept his opinions to himself — but bickering with Brian Ching? Yes, EJ’s three goals in three games is making his awful start to the season look a lot better — four goals in 17 matches total — but easy, big man.

As for the incentive-laden contract jab, that’s above my pay grade this morning.

  1. digbysellers - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Yeah Ching “probably” shouldn’t have said that, but he’s a broadcaster now and he’s certainly not the first one to say something about past teammates while on a broadcast. Say what you wish about should he or shouldn’t he have said anything, but he’s pretty much spot on about EJ. If EJ wants to revisit history so much with his credentials, maybe he should take a look and see he really does only seem to play well when he’s wanting a new contract. There’s a reason he wasn’t on the USMNT this past WC.

  2. fantom21 - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Apps or caps? Lmao..

  3. talgrath - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    It’s not jealousy if it’s true Eddie. Look at that year after he came to Seattle where he played lights-out, he scored 14 goals in 28 games, that’s about half a goal a game, his numbers dipped a little the next year, but he again at almost half a goal per game, 9 goals in 21 games played. Then Johnson gets the contract, he’s got four goals in seventeen games, his performance dropped nearly 50%. If this transfer drop off happened just once, that would be one thing, but saw this show before when he went to Fulham; he got that big money contract and did pretty much jack squat in 19 appearances. The truth hurts Eddie, but you can fix it by getting your butt in gear again.

  4. braxtonrob - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    EJ should not have reacted (relatively childishly, at that), however, Ching is more wrong because his statements could very likely affect EJ’s pocketbook, and there’s no justifying that (from a former teammate).

    Ching should know better; there is no excuse really.

  5. Vnice - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Can we discuss Eddie Johnson’s flagrant disregard for grammar and spelling?


  6. lawson1974 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:06 AM

    For Eddie….. i guess the truth hurts

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