Rob Johnson (soccer)
He attended Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson Township, New Jersey, graduating from the school in 1990. At Jackson, he also competed in track and field athletics, with his best efforts in high school including running the 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds, a long jump of 21 feet 6 inches and a high jump of 6 feet eight inches. Johnson was a two-time state champion in wrestling and was recognized with all-state honors during his senior year in both wrestling and track and field. In 1999, he was named by The Star-Ledger as one of the top ten New Jersey high school soccer players of the 1990s. Johnson was one of four of the Star-Ledger's top 10 players of the 1990s who played for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars/Red Bulls, joining Claudio Reyna, Petter Villegas and Billy Walsh.
Johnson played college soccer at Rutgers University. Johnson scored 35 goals and 20 assists in his four seasons at Rutgers, with his 90 points ranking him 6th all-time at Rutgers. He scored 13 goals and nine assists as a freshman, and followed that with 13 goals and seven assists in his sophomore year, leading the team to the NCAA tournament semifinals in 1994.
He played for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the 1996 season after being recalled from the North Jersey Imperials. In his three seasons with the MetroStars (mostly in 1996, plus two games in 1997 and a single game in 1999), he scored four goals and had three assists. He played his first game with the team on June 19, 1996, a scoreless tie against the Dallas Burn (now known as FC Dallas). His first goal came on July 24, 1996, the game winner for the MetroStars in a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Clash (now the San Jose Earthquakes). He played in three playoff games with the MetroStars in 1996.
- Yannis, Alex. "SOCCER; Rutgers Is No. 1, With a Bullet", The New York Times, October 24, 1991. Accessed August 26, 2008.
- Jandoli, Ron. "The Century's Best -- Boys Soccer: Top 10 Players of each decade", The Star-Ledger, November 7, 1999, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 10, 2003. Accessed September 11, 2008.
- Lewis, Brian. "REYNA A RED BULL", New York Post, January 25, 2007. Accessed September 1, 2008. "Claudio Reyna has come full circle. The kid who grew up in Springfield, N.J., going to Cosmos games finally is center stage at Giants Stadium, signing with the Red Bulls yesterday and instantly becoming the leader of the team and face of the club."
- Yannis, Alex. "SOCCER; A Long Road to M.L.S. For MetroStars' Villegas", The New York Times, May 14, 2001. Accessed September 1, 2008. "This year, the 5-foot-7, 140-pound Villegas has started every game for the MetroStars (5-1-1), and he is improving so rapidly that it would not be surprising if he was called to play for the national team of Ecuador."
- "SOCCER; MetroStars Activate Walsh ", The New York Times, June 13, 2001. Accessed September 1, 2008. "Forward Clint Mathis was placed on the injured list and midfielder Billy Walsh was activated today by the MetroStars, who play D.C. United in Washington Wednesday night."
- Rob Johnson, CSTV. Accessed August 26, 2008. Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Yannis, Alex. "SOCCER;All but One of the MetroStars Get the Point", The New York Times, June 20, 1996. Accessed August 26, 2008.
- #23 Rob Johnson, MetroFanatic.com. Accessed August 26, 2008.