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Orlando City Midfielder Will Johnson Cleared to Return

MLS announced that prosecutors will not pursue charges against Johnson and have cleared him to return to team activities.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer announced tonight that the prosecution will not pursue charges against Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson.

Johnson was arrested on the morning of Sept. 6 after allegations of misdemeanor domestic abuse of his wife, Caroline Childs Johnson. The league stated he would be suspended “indefinitely” while investigations ensued by MLS and the Orlando Police Department. The decision not to pursue charges also depends on Johnson completing a year-long diversion program, which includes a 26-week domestic violence counseling program.

The league also announced that it has completed an independent investigation into Johnson and is now clearing him to return to team activities and competition. He’ll be eligible for selection Sunday against the Columbus Crew after returning to training on Monday. “The evidence reviewed by the MLS League Office does not establish that Johnson physically assaulted his wife,” the league statement reads.

“Nonetheless,” the league’s statement continues, “the League Office has concluded that his overall conduct the night of the incident was not consistent with League policy. As a result of all of the circumstances, the League Office has concluded that the five-game suspension served was appropriate.”

Ms. Johnson accused the midfielder of tackling her and grabbing her around the waist as she fled from a verbal argument, causing her to hit the right side of her head on the brick patio. She also claimed to have a scraped knee, left hand, and right arm from the fall.

An 11-year MLS veteran, Johnson joined the Lions after playing for Toronto FC in 2016. He previously played under Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake from 2008-2012. He has accumulated two goals in 25 games while serving as captain whenever Kaká has not been on the field.