MLS – CF Montreal acquires forward Bjorn Johnsen

MONTREAL – CF Montreal acquired forward Bjorn Johnsen from South Korean Premier League club Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday.

Sporting director Olivier Renard announced the news in a press release.

In passing, he made it known that Johnsen, a six-foot-five athlete, signed a two-season contract plus an option year in 2023 using targeted allowance money.

The agreement will be confirmed after receipt of his international transfer certificate and medical examination.

The 29-year-old was born in New York to an American mother and a Norwegian father, Johnsen has a fairly long track record and has performed in various parts of the world.

These are details that did not fail to underline the sports director of CF Montreal in the official press release of the team.

« We are pleased with the acquisition of this player with a wealth of experience in Europe and Asia, » he noted.

“Bjorn is a large, fairly mobile forward. He has demonstrated his ability to score goals in all the clubs where he has played in the past, including also with the national team of Norway. « 

From Norway in 2010, Johnsen’s sporting career also took him to Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Scotland, the Netherlands and back to Norway.

More recently, in January 2020, the forward joined Ulsan Hyundai of Korea’s K League 1, where he scored 11 goals in 31 games, including winning the AFC Champions League, last December, after scoring five goals in nine games, securing a place for the club at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Internationally, Johnsen made his debut for Norway in 2017, during the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup. He played 16 national games, scoring five goals and amassing an assist.

Yao and Ferdinand on loan

Earlier in the day, CF Montreal announced the loans of two of its young players to Canadian Premier League teams, with recall rights, in 2021.

They are defenseman Karifa Yao, who will join Cavalfy FC, a team based in Calgary, and defenseman Keesean Ferdinand, who will join Atlético Ottawa.

According to Olivier Renard, the idea behind these loans is to allow them to gain experience by obtaining minutes of play, a bit like goalkeeper James Pantemis did with Valor FC, a team playing in Winnipeg.

« These are two young players from our Academy and in whom we have complete confidence for the future. We hope that they will be able to grow and come back even stronger at CF Montreal. »

Yao signed his first professional contract on June 4, 2019 and played his first MLS minutes on September 20, 2020, entering as a substitute against the Philadelphia Union.

He played two games, including one start, for a total of 127 minutes. He joined the Academy in 2017, from the amateur club Les Étoiles de l’Est.

Ferdinand signed his first professional contract on June 17, 2020. He joined the Club Pre-Academy at the age of 10 from the amateur club Panellinios.

He then evolved with the various teams of the Academy and notably represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, in 2019.

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