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Q&A with RSL midfielder Will Johnson

Published April 28, 2012 5:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Three countries, triple citizenship and one seriously academically minded family. That's how the Real Salt Lake midfielder grew up before turning pro and becoming an international player for Canada.

You grew up alternately in Canada, England and the United States, with a lot of travel mixed in there. What was that like?

It's fun. You get a lot of different international experiences than a kid who grows up maybe just in one city their whole life. … It's life lessons, early on. The thing I took from it the most was just seeing all these different cultures, seeing how different countries live and operate and work.

Yet you left home in Chicago when you were 16 to join the youth academy at Blackburn in England?

Yeah, I left after my sophomore year of high school. Just did a GED to finish up high school. It was tough. But the thing that pushed me to do it was all my friends were going into [soccer] residency.

You had a grandfather who played professionally, right?

My grandfather played for Bolton, my mom's dad. They won the FA Cup in 1958; I think they beat Man United.

And your parents, aren't they super-educated?

They're Ph.D. professors in physics. My brother is a finance major. My sisters are both going to med school, and my younger sister is doing undergrad stuff. So they're all highly educated, and I take some finance classes at the U. a couple days a week, just to see if I can get that degree finished before my career is up here.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in town?

Cucina Toscana.

Who's on your iPod?

Drake, some Coldplay. Rihanna, I like. I like country music when I want to just mellow out. Some Kenny Chesney, some Garth Brooks. So it's kind of hip-hop into country.

How would you describe yourself off the field, in one word?

Just one? I want to say mellow, but I want to say active.