Eddie Johnson apologized to his D.C. United teammates on Thursday for saying he was used to better teammates while playing with the Seattle Sounders.
Johnson told MLSSoccer.com on Wednesday, "In Seattle -- and no disrespect to the guys that are here -- I felt like I didn't have to run as much because we had better guys that had more quality on the ball."
Johnson, who joined D.C. in the offseason as a Designated Player, spoke to his new team in the locker room at RFK Stadium before practice.
He explained that he was only trying to express his challenges adjusting to a new system after two seasons in Seattle.
"It was very important for me to take the guys aside this morning and tell them, 'Look, the words were misperceived,'" he told the Washington Post. "I wasn't trying to go at my teammates. It was more [about] adapting to this new style that I have to get used to. That is what has been challenging."
Johnson has yet to score in seven games for D.C. United despite being the team's highest-paid player. He left the Sounders over a disagreement in his contract, but said a congenial locker room is important to him.
"I wanted to give them peace of mind," he told the Post. "I don't want them to think I am better than them. That's always been the perception of my career: I'm a prima donna, I'm a bad teammate, I'm bad in the locker room. That's not the case."
Johnson also said he understood the impact his recent comments could have on his chances to make the U.S. World Cup squad, as coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stressed team chemistry will be important in selecting his squad. Johnson will contend for a forward role with Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski, Terrence Boyd and Juan Agudelo, among others.
D.C. United defender Jeff Parke told the Post he accepted Johnson's apology.
"If he had come out and said, 'These guys suck, I can't play with them, I don't know why I am here,' that's a different situation. That is not what was said. I don't mind it. He owns up to whatever was said and clears the air. We trust in him and believe in him."