Redskins

Johnson back in Seattle after shining for US

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Johnson back in Seattle after shining for US

SEATTLE (AP) When Eddie Johnson left Seattle to join the U.S. national team for his first call-up in more than two years, he wasn't sure what coach Jurgen Klinsmann had in store. Johnson was simply thrilled to get an opportunity.

It didn't matter if he played or not, the recognition was affirmation that the work he put in after finding stability with the Seattle Sounders was being noticed.

``Right now, this is just a bonus,'' Johnson said on Oct. 8 as he left for the national team camp. ``Everyone asked me if getting called back to the national team was a goal of yours, and yeah it is. Working hard and winning games in Seattle and trying to win MLS Cup, anything after that was just a bonus for me.''

When Johnson arrived back in Seattle early Wednesday following two sterling performances in World Cup qualifying, he was the buzz of American soccer. Johnson scored both U.S. goals in a win over Antigua and Barbuda then made a perfect cross to his national team roommate, Clint Dempsey, for the deciding goal in the Americans' 3-1 win over Guatemala.

Apparently, Klinsmann had plenty in mind when he decided to give Johnson his first shot at playing for the national team since May 2010, just before he was cut from the 2010 World Cup roster.

``It was a great experience,'' Johnson said Wednesday night after serving as a spectator at the Sounders' scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake. ``Anytime you get to go represent your country in two important games in two World Cup qualifiers where we had to get results; it was good to get called into the camp (and) it shows how confident the coach was in bringing me and the other guys in to get the job done. Credit to all my teammates and everyone here in Seattle for the opportunity to put myself in position to be successful.''

The national team call-up is just another step in Johnson's rapid ascent, from a player without a club in Europe to one of Major League Soccer's top stars this season. He leads the playoff-bound Sounders with 14 goals, with nine coming via his head. Johnson's ability in the air was one of the biggest reasons Klinsmann selected him.

Johnson rewarded Klinsmann's decision with his second-half injury time goal, on a header, to pull out the victory in Antigua.

But Johnson's more impressive performance arguably came against Guatemala. Klinsmann moved Johnson wide into an attacking midfield position on the right side, a spot he does not play in Seattle. Johnson was not completely unfamiliar with the spot, having played the position when he was on loan in 2011 at English club Preston North End.

Johnson said Klinsmann's belief he could start on the wing gave him the confidence to make the position switch.

Johnson was a constant threat on the wing and displayed his speed when he made a strong run behind the defense and one-timed a pass into the box, where Dempsey guided it into the net to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

``I'm a forward. I know where a forward wants the ball at when they make runs in the box. That's where I would want the ball, that's the run I would make,'' Johnson said. ``I said `You get there, I'll put the ball there' and that's why we did our handshake when he scored.''

Seattle paid a hefty price to get Johnson, trading away two young prospects, Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle, to Montreal for the right to get Johnson in the MLS allocation process. Johnson struggled early in the season to develop chemistry at the top of Seattle's attack with Colombian striker Fredy Montero, who has served as Seattle's main scoring threat since the franchise's inception in 2009.

Johnson started to click in July and Seattle began its run in the conference standings at the same time. After going nine league matches without a victory, Johnson netted what turned out to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Colorado. Over the next dozen games, Johnson scored six more goals. Montero scored in three of those matches as well.

Perhaps most indicative of Johnson's impact, the Sounders are 8-2-2 this season when he scores. And despite his efforts in the last week for the national team, Johnson is refusing to look ahead to next year's final stages of qualifying for 2014.

``Like I said before I got called into the camp, working hard here and scoring goals here and our team is winning (and) everything else is a bonus,'' Johnson said. ``I'm not even looking too far ahead. We've got a game on Sunday and I'm looking forward to it.''

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

Since the 2017 regular ended we’ve known who the Redskins will play this coming season and we have known where the games will be played. Tonight we find out the when. 

The NFL schedule will be released tonight at 8 p.m. The NFL will fill in the blanks beside all of the prime time games, the Thanksgiving Day games and the Sunday doubleheader and night games. 

Last year, the Redskins were coming off of an 8-7-1 season where they just missed the making a second straight playoff appearance. Kirk Cousins was becoming one of the more recognizable names in the NFL and the schedule makers thought they would be enough of a draw to warrant five prime time slots. They were scheduled for a Sunday night, two Monday nights, and two Thursday nights, including a first-ever home game on Thanksgiving. 

The Redskins may not be as attractive a prime time candidate this year. They went 7-9 and Cousins is gone, although replacement Alex Smith is fairly well-known. It’s nearly a given that two NFC East games will be on prime time. That has been the case every year but one since 2012. We will see what will happen beyond that. 

The prime-time games that the Redskins do have will start a bit earlier than they have in the past. The league announced yesterday that Monday night games will move up from 8:30 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. ET and Thursdays will move from an 8:25 p.m. start to 8:20 p.m. Sunday night games move up from 8:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.

There has been speculation that the Redskins will play on Thanksgiving, perhaps at Dallas or against another opponent in the night game. That would make three years in a row on Thanksgiving for them. That is not without precedent although it would be unusual. Besides the Lions and Cowboys, who host Thanksgiving games annually, only two teams played in three straight Thanksgiving games. The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between they played at Dallas on Thanksgiving. 

The availability of FedEx Field should not cause any schedule alterations. There are some events scheduled for the venue but concerts by Taylor Swift and Beyonce & Jay-Z, an international soccer game, and the Maryland-Texas college game are all going to be done before the start of the NFL season. 

Here are the Redskins regular season opponents. 

Road

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Cardinals
  • Saints
  • Jaguars
  • Titans
  • Bucs

Home

  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Colts
  • Falcons
  • Texans

The preseason opponents were announced earlier this month.

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

With a thrilling double-overtime victory in Game 3, the Capitals are right back in the series. Trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, the Caps will look to even up the series at 2-games apiece before returning to Washington for Game 5.

As the Caps take the ice for Game 4, you can be certain that Braden Holtby will be the man to lead the team in net. His stellar performance in Game 3 resolidified him as the team' starter and ended whatever goalie tandem there was between him and Philipp Grubauer.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 4

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Columbus currently leads the series 2-1.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blue Jackets
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE