Hometown: Fairfield, California
Previous Club: Hibernian FC (on loan)
Emmanuel “EJ” Johnson enters his first season with the Black and Yellow, on loan from Scottish Premiership side Hibernian FC for 2022.
The 18-year-old American joins the Battery after signing a multi-year contract with Hibs. Johnson’s arrival also marks the first official sporting interaction between Charleston and Hibernian since the two formed a strategic partnership in 2021, and signals an extension of the growing relationship.
A native of Fairfield, Calif., Johnson comes highly rated after spells with the Sacramento Republic FC Academy and the Barça Residency Academy in Arizona. EJ is capable of playing anywhere along the right side of the field and possesses an attacking mindset on the pitch.
The youngster initially joined Republic FC’s academy in 2016 and made 90 appearances across various age group competitions through 2020, tallying 29 goals in that time. Johnson signed a USL Academy contract with the Sacramento first team in April 2021. The 2022 campaign will afford Johnson his first opportunity at regular competition against senior sides before heading to Edinburgh.
EJ had originally intended to play collegiately at the University of California, Berkeley, before ultimately signing with Hibernian.