Will Johnson will continue manning the center of the pitch at Rio Tinto Stadium through the 2014 season, announced Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey on a conference call Tuesday.
The Canadian international was on the final year of his contract and the team had made it a priority to sign the 23-year-old to an extension prior to the start of the 2011 season. Though financial details were not disclosed – as per team and league policy – Lagerwey did hint Johnson would get a raise.
“Will came to us as something that was a very low salary,” said Lagerwey. “If you are trying to re-sign your good, young players, certainly those are going to lead to increases in pay.”
Johnson joined Real Salt Lake in the middle of the 2008 season upon return from Dutch Eredivisie side De Graafshap. He immediately made his way into the starting lineup and has remained there ever since.
Known for his high work-rate, Johnson fits in well with head coach Jason Kreis’ philosophy, which requires effort on both sides of the field. Among Johnson’s accomplishments are the 2008 MLS Goal of the Year award and a 2009 All-Star selection.
Lagerwey also indicated that the club has been pursuing extensions for both defender Nat Borchers and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who have current deals that expire after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, respectively.
“We have had good conversations with the agents for both players,” Lagerwey mentioned. “I would say nothing is imminent, but I’m cautiously optimistic on both of those fronts.”