It was just a regular Monday night, sitting down at The Berliner, the German pub in Renton. In walked Eddie Johnson to be the guest on SonarFeed that night. Seeing the former United States National Team player and Seattle Sounders star walk in ripped reality apart.
Johnson addressed nearly everything. It was 90 minutes with extra time, and to quote him "That's OK, as long as it doesn't go to PKs." He laughs at himself, remembering missed PKs in joy-pain.
What we got was Eddie at his realist - talking about growing up in Bunnell, Florida, his path to soccer, and how his friends criticized him for playing the sport of suburban white kids. EJ told the tales of learning from McBride, teaching Altidore, his friendships with Dempsey and Adu, playing for Arena, Bradley, Klinsmann and Schmid.
There was no sugar-coating. That isn't Eddie Johnson. Eddie is brash, passionate, kind, generous and raw. This was raw EJ. This was the man once known as GAM talking about Pay Me, getting out of Bunnell and giving back to soccer.
He told tales about his struggles with Fulham and D.C. United. Johnson talked about finding out that his career as a player was over, and how Steve Zakuani helped open him up to the idea that it's now Eddie's time to pay it forward. EJ is a youth coach now, helping forwards, but that's just a step.
If you only know Eddie as the goal scorer or the social media presence you missed out on the man. Because this isn't the youngster who once said he was a grown ass man. The post-playing Eddie Johnson is brusque and humble at the same time.
Summing up what he covers is nearly impossible. It's a wide ranging interview. But how he ends it tells you why you must listen.
"A lot of people throughout my career didn't take the time to get to talk to me like you guys are right now, to get to know me. They just judged me from a distance. You know what? That's life sometimes. As an athlete you have to know that and be aware of it. Not everyone is going to like you.
"You can't go out of your way to make sure that everyone loves you, because people are always going to have their view of you. This right here is always going to mean the most to me. This is real. This is sit-down, up close and up-front. We can put it all on the line, and that's what it's about at the end of the day," Eddie Johnson in closing after two hours with SonarFeed.