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Lone Canadian MLS all-star says he hopes to pull on Canadian jersey again

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson says he hopes to get back to playing for Canada.

The 27-year-old midfielder has not represented Canada since a 2013 Gold Cup game against Martinique. He then withdrew from the squad due to illness.

Johnson has cited his young family as the reason for not pulling on a Canadian jersey since.

"I see (Canada coach Benito Floro) is bringing in a lot of young guys. I think that's great," Johnson said after training with the MLS all-stars Monday. "I think Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto academies producing a few homegrown players here and there is fantastic. For the system, obviously it's a longterm project so I don't think anything is going to be fixed overnight, which you don't need me to tell you.

"I haven't spoken to Benito. At some point, I hope to get back in and try to help some of these young guys out and do my part. It hasn't been recently but with World Cup qualifiers and important Gold Cup things coming up, I hope I get back out there at some point."

Born in Toronto to English parents, Johnson holds Canadian, American and British citizenship. He moved to England as a baby and settled in the Chicago area at the age of 10.

He has 33 caps for Canada, making his senior debut as an 18-year-old in a 1-0 friendly win over Luxembourg.

Johnson was named the winner of the 2013 BMO Canadian Player of the Year award.

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