Johnson as a Lokomotiv Sofia player in 2011.
|Full name||Jemal Pierre Johnson|
|Date of birth||3 May 1985|
|Place of birth||Paterson, New Jersey, United States|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2005||→ Preston North End (loan)||3||(1)|
|2006||→ Darlington (loan)||9||(3)|
|2007||→ Leeds United (loan)||5||(0)|
|2007–2011||Milton Keynes Dons||96||(12)|
|2010||→ Stockport County (loan)||16||(2)|
|2010||→ Port Vale (loan)||6||(0)|
|2013||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||11||(1)|
|2013–2014||New York Cosmos||20||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 November 2015.
He started his career at Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, making several appearances for the club between 2004 and 2006, having graduated through the club's academy. After a season at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he joined Milton Keynes Dons in summer 2007. As well as these three clubs, he has also spent loan periods at Preston North End, Darlington, Leeds United, Stockport County, and Port Vale. He spent the first half of 2011 with Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Sofia, before returning to England in the summer to sign for Southend United; he was released by Southend in December 2011, and two months later signed with Dover Athletic. He joined Tamworth in September 2012. Having made one appearance for the club, he left Tamworth to return to the United States with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. He went on to play for the New York Cosmos and Jacksonville Armada.
Though born in the United States, Johnson's family moved to Macclesfield when he was five years old. Originally signed by Manchester United, Johnson joined Blackburn Rovers' Academy when he was sixteen.
Johnson made his first team debut as a substitute in Rovers' FA Cup Third Round 1–1 tie at Cardiff City on 8 January 2005, replacing Paul Dickov after 89 minutes. He scored his first senior goal, in his first start, on 29 January at Ewood Park, in Blackburn's Fourth Round 3–0 victory over Colchester United. He also played in the Fifth Round goalless draw with Burnley at Turf Moor, but played not further part in Rovers' semi-final run. He also made three substitute appearances in the Premier League during the 2004–05 season.
In October 2005, he joined Championship side Preston North End on loan, he played three games at Deepdale, scoring against Hull City. In March 2006 he joined League Two Darlington on a six-week loan, manager David Hodgson having tracked him since July 2004. Johnson scored three times in nine starts.
Having failed to establish himself in the Rovers first team, Johnson joined Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2006 for an undisclosed fee. He scored two match-winning goals in his first two league games for the club – to the delight of manager Mick McCarthy, but by the end of the season he scored just one further goal. He joined Leeds United on a three-month loan in February 2007, but had a frustrating time at Elland Road, making just five appearances. Back at Molineux he was placed on the transfer list.
Milton Keynes Dons
In August 2007, Paul Ince's Milton Keynes Dons paid an undisclosed fee for Johnson, and he signed a two-year contract. In his first season at the club, he scored some vital goals, including one against Swansea City to help get the Dons into the Football League Trophy final. He also played at Wembley in the final itself, as the Dons beat Grimsby Town 2–0 to lift the trophy. He also helped the club top the League Two table.
Johnson struck six times in 2008–09, as the Dons finished two points off an automatic promotion place to the Championship. He did not feature in the play-off encounter with eventual promotion winners Scunthorpe United. His contract ran out in May 2009; however, he re-signed with the club in July 2009, penning a new two-year deal after former Wolves player Paul Ince returned to the management post.
Despite starting the 2009–10 season well, scoring a hat-trick against Northampton Town in a pre-season friendly, he lost his first team place in November. In January 2010, MK Dons announced that Johnson was to join League One Stockport County on loan for the remaining six months of the season, alongside teammates Jabo Ibehre, Danny Swailes and Richie Partridge. All four MK Dons players, plus Colchester United's David Perkins started for County against Swindon Town on 19 January. He went on to score two goals in sixteen appearances for Stockport during his loan spell, as the club dropped out of the league in bottom place – a whole 25 points from safety.
Johnson had trials with two Major League Soccer clubs in August 2010 – D.C. United and Kansas City Wizards, but neither club offered him a contract. New Zealand club Wellington Phoenix FC did offer him a contract, though nothing came of the offer. Back at Stadium mk he once again found himself on the bench. He joined Port Vale on a one-month loan in September 2010, manager Micky Adams intending to use the player on the wing following Lewis Haldane's injury and Abdulai Bell-Baggie's departure. Vale seemed to have extended Johnson's loan spell by a further month, however his parent club recalled him at the last minute. In January 2011 Johnson left Milton Keynes Dons when his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
In January 2011, he rejected offers from English league clubs and instead moved to Bulgaria to play for top-flight side Lokomotiv Sofia. On 28 February, he made his first appearance for the "Railwaymen" in a 2–0 home win against Montana. He left the club by mutual consent in the summer, following a fourth-place finish in the league.
In July 2011, Johnson returned to England to sign a twelve-month contract (with an option to extend) with League Two side Southend United. He made two starts and five substitute appearances for the "Shrimpers" before 28 October, when he was placed under police arrest for his alleged role in a fight outside a nightclub in Ilford. On 30 November, Southend United confirmed that he was under a two-week club suspension whilst a 'full review' into his actions took place. Three weeks later the club announced that he would be released.
In February 2012, he signed for Dover Athletic until the end of the season, having impressed impressing boss Nicky Forster on trial. He was not offered a contract at the end of the 2011–12 season however and was released in May 2012.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Johnson joined Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League for the spring period of the 2013 season. On 23 June, he played in an international friendly against Brazilian side Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in front of a season high crowd at Lockhart Stadium.
New York Cosmos
In June 2013, it was confirmed by the New York Cosmos and their head coach Giovanni Savarese that Johnson would be playing for them starting in the fall period of the 2013 season. During the Cosmos' pre-season tour of England Johnson suffered a knee injury against Leyton Orient, ruling him out of action for the beginning of the fall season. He made his Cosmos' debut on 2 November, playing 18 minutes as a substitute in a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks. Due to his knee injury this was the only action Johnson saw in the 2013 campaign.
In 2014, Johnson was a regular contributor to the Cosmos attack. On 26 July, he scored his first goal for the Cosmos in a 1-1 draw with his former club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Playing primarily on the left wing, Johnson had one goal and two assists in 19 appearances during the 2014 NASL regular season.
In December 2014, Johnson made the move to newly formed NASL club Jacksonville Armada. He scored the first goal of the opening game of the 2015 regular season, which in addition to making him Armada's first competitive goalscorer, his strike at 12 seconds into the game set the modern-era NASL record for fastest goal.
Style of play
Johnson is a pacey player; he also has good shooting ability from long-range, and is also effective in one-on-one situations.
- As of 1 February 2016.
|Preston North End (loan)||2005–06||Championship||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||1|
|Darlington (loan)||2005–06||League Two||9||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||3|
|Blackburn Rovers||2004–05||Premier League||3||0||3||1||0||0||0||0||6||1|
|Leeds United (loan)||2006–07||Championship||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|Stockport County (loan)||2009–10||League One||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||2|
|Port Vale (loan)||2010–11||League Two||6||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||7||0|
|Milton Keynes Dons||2007–08||League Two||39||5||1||1||0||0||5||2||46||8|
|Lokomotiv Sofia||2010–11||A PFG||14||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||14||1|
|Southend United||2011–12||League Two||5||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||7||0|
|Dover Athletic||2011–12||Conference South||10||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||1|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||2013||NASL||11||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||12||1|
|New York Cosmos||2013||NASL||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
- Milton Keynes Dons
- New York Cosmos
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
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- "Former Man United academy product Jemal Johnson on trial in KC". Kansas City F.C. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Ormond, Aidan (20 July 2010). "Phoenix Look To Bolster Squad". au.fourfourtwo.com. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Port Vale: Valiants complete loan signing of MK Dons winger Jemal Johnson". The Sentinel/ This is Staffordshire. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Port Vale sign MK Dons winger Jemal Johnson on loan". BBC Sport. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Shaw, Steve (17 September 2010). "Port Vale: New boy Jemal Johnson homing in on Macc debut". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Port Vale loan man Jemal Johnson returns to MK Dons". BBC Sport. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- "Jemal Johnson allowed to leave MK Dons". BBC Sport. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Johnson Pleased to be Here". Southend United F.C. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Johnson wings in at Southend". Southend United F.C. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Phillips, Chris (25 November 2011). "Southend United manager Paul Sturrock set for talks with Jemal Johnson". Southend Echo. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Southend United player arrested on suspicion of assault". Southend Echo. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Club Statement: Jemal Johnson". Southend United F.C. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Club Statement: Jemal Johnson". Southend United F.C. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Jemal Johnson suspended by Southend United". BBC Sport. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Southend United sack Jemal Johnson after arrest". BBC Sport. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Clements, Matthew. "Johnson Adds New Dimension". Dover Athletic F.C. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Forster announces retained list". Football Conference. 7 May 2012.
- "Season-high crowd fills Lockhart Stadium as Strikers fall 4-0 to Brazil’s Cruzeiro". 23 June 2013.
- "Cosmos Add Two More Players to Squad". nycosmos.com. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Levine, Matt (21 September 2013). "On the Road Back". bigapplesoccer.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Cosmos Seek Another Road Win". nycosmos.com. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Profile". nycosmos.com. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Former English Premier League striker Jemal Johnson joins Armada FC attack". armadafc.com. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Jacksonville Armada sinks FC Edmonton in NASL season-opener". Edmonton Journal. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Stats". Soccerway. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "stats". Dover Athletic F.C. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "Games played by Jemal Johnson in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011.