Estelle Johnson

Last updated

Estelle Johnson
2023 NWSL Challenge Cup final, 577 (cropped).jpg
Johnson with the North Carolina Courage in 2023
Personal information
Full name Estelle Laura Johnson [1]
Date of birth (1988-07-21) 21 July 1988 (age 35)
Place of birth Maroua, Cameroon [2] [3]
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Position(s) Defender
Team information
Current team
North Carolina Courage
Number 24
College career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2006–2009 Kansas Jayhawks 85 (4)
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2010–2011 Philadelphia Independence 33 (1)
2011–2012 Sydney FC 11 (1)
2012 New York Fury
2013 Western New York Flash 22 (0)
2015–2018 Washington Spirit 71 (2)
2019–2022 Gotham FC 34 (0)
2023– North Carolina Courage 0 (0)
International career
2019– Cameroon 5 (1)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 28 June 2024
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 21:25, 17 July 2022 (UTC)

Estelle Laura Johnson (born 21 July 1988) is a Cameroonian professional footballer who plays as a defender for NWSL club North Carolina Courage and the Cameroon national team. She previously played for Western New York Flash, Washington Spirit, and Gotham FC in the NWSL, Philadelphia Independence in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), and Sydney FC of Australia's W-League.

Contents

Early life

Johnson was born in Cameroon to an American father and Malian mother. She moved to multiple countries for her father's job but her family eventually settled in Colorado when she was in elementary school. [4] She grew up in Fort Collins where she was a four-year letterwinner at Rocky Mountain High School. [5] As a freshman, Johnson was named the best defensive player by the team. She earned all-conference first team honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior and was named all-state during her junior and senior years. She was named team MVP as a sophomore and a junior. [6]

Johnson was a member of the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region IV pool. She also captained the club team, Fort Collins Arsenal.

College career

Johnson attended the University of Kansas where she played for the Jayhawks from 2006 to 2009. During her freshman season, she appeared in all 19 matches with 18 starts. She ranked fifth on the team with 1445 minutes played and helped the Jayhawks shut out eight opponents and hold 0.98 goals against average. She was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team and was selected to the Cal Invitational All-Tournament Team. As a sophomore, she started all 21 matches for a total of 1,883 minutes – third most on the team. She was named Third Team All-Central Region by Soccer Buzz. During her junior season, Johnson started all 23 matches, playing a program-record 2,110 minutes. She was named All-Central Region by Soccer Buzz and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as well as to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team and academic all-conference team. [7]

Club career

July 4, 2013; Chicago Red Stars vs Western New York Flash. Playing at midfield, left to right: Leon-16, Zerboni-7, Grings-21, Estelle Johnson-12 2013-07-04 Redstars v Flash FlashSideOfMidfield 1.jpg
July 4, 2013; Chicago Red Stars vs Western New York Flash. Playing at midfield, left to right: Leon-16, Zerboni-7, Grings-21, Estelle Johnson-12

Philadelphia Independence

Johnson was selected by the Los Angeles Sol during the 2010 WPS Draft; however, the team folded before the 2011 season and Johnson signed with the Philadelphia Independence as part of the 2010 WPS Dispersal Draft. She made 16 appearances for the club, including 13 starts. Johnson joined the Independence for the 2011 season. She made 15 starts in 17 appearances for a total of 1,403 minutes and scored one goal. [8]

Western New York Flash, 2013–2014

In 2013, Johnson was drafted to the Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League. She was selected during the first round (seventh overall) of the 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft. [9]

Washington Spirit, 2015–2018

Johnson was traded to the Spirit on February 24, 2015, in exchange for defender Toni Pressley. [10] In her first season with the Spirit, she played in all but one game (due to personal commitment), logging 1685 minutes. In 2016, Johnson played in eleven matches, totaling 990 minutes. She has started in 30 of her combined 31 appearances over the two seasons. [11]

Sky Blue FC, 2019–2022

In January 2019, Johnson was traded to Sky Blue FC along with teammates DiDi Haracic and Caprice Dydasco for the third overall and 29th picks of the 2019 NWSL College Draft. [12]

On July 12, 2021, Johnson reached 10,000 minutes played in the NWSL. [13]

NC Courage, 2023–present

On December 1, 2022, Johnson signed a two year free agent deal with the North Carolina Courage, [14] becoming one of the first few players to sign a contract under the NWSL's new free agency rules.

International career

Johnson became interested in playing for Cameroon, her country of birth, after watching the team reach the Round of 16 in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. She struggled to work out the details with the team, until coach Alain Djeumfa joined the team in January 2019 and her place on the team was finalized. [4]

Johnson was named to the Indomitable Lionesses' squad on 1 May 2019 [15] and made her debut 16 days later against Spain in a 0–4 friendly loss. [16] The same month, she was named to the final roster for Cameroon for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

At the 2019 World Cup, Johnson played every minute in the Lionesses' four matches, spanning three group stage games as well as the team's 0–3 loss to England in the Round of 16. [17]

Honours

Western New York Flash

Individual

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References

  1. "FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 – List of Players: Cameroon" (PDF). FIFA . 27 May 2019. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  2. "Estelle Johnson : " Ça me fait vraiment du bien de revenir dans mon pays "" (in French). Lion Indomptable. 16 May 2019. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019.
  3. "Set your goals and work hard". 27 February 2018. It is also my dream to wear a US jersey or an African team jersey as my mum Djeneba is from Mali and I was born in Cameroon
  4. 1 2 "VAN DIEST: American players integrating well with Cameroon's national team". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. "Estelle Johnson". Kick 442. 3 April 2019. Archived from the original on 22 August 2022. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. "Estelle Johnson". Western New York Flash. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  7. "Estelle Johnson". University of Kansas. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  8. Estelle Johnson at Soccerway. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  9. "NWSL rosters taking shape". ESPN. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  10. "Washington Spirit sign defender Estelle Johnston after acquiring rights in trade with WNY Flash – Washington Spirit". washingtonspirit.com. 24 February 2015.
  11. "Estelle Johnson – Washington Spirit". washingtonspirit.com. 9 October 2017.
  12. "Sky Blue FC bolsters roster with addition of Dydasco, Haracic and Johnson". skybluefc.com. 10 January 2019. Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  13. "Login • Instagram". Archived from the original on 24 December 2021.{{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  14. "Courage sign free agent defender Estelle Johnson". NC Courage. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  15. "Estelle Johnson". Beyond the Lines Media. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  16. "Spain vs. Cameroon – 17 May 2019". Women Soccerway.
  17. "Estelle Johnson". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  18. "IFFHS Women's CAF Team Decade 2011–2020". The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). 28 January 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2023.