Exciting Canadians and intriguing international fans on a Saturday morning before World Cup fever continued, on December 3rd, Celtic announced the acquisition of Canada Men’s National Team and CF Montreal defender Alistair Johnston.
Here’s your quick history of the (almost) always smiley Alistair.
The Early Years
Vancouver-born, Alistair’s family moved to Montreal when Johnston was 4 and then Aurora, Ontario (just north of Toronto) when he was 7.
In 2015, at the age of 16, AJ made his debut at a Canadian under-18 camp.
During his college years, Alistair started at all matches as both a freshman and a sophomore for St. John’s (2016-2017) before making the move to Wake Forest where he played as captain as a right-back (2018-2019).
Between 2015 and 2019, Johnston spent time away from university playing for Vaughan SC in League1 Ontario with whom he won the League1 title in 2018, qualifying the squad for play in the 2019 Canadian Championship vs the HFX Wanderers.
Major League Soccer
During the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, he was drafted to Nashville SC where he remained for 2 seasons, locking in 3,510 playing minutes in 44 games including two advancements to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In December 2021, Johnston was acquired by CF Montreal, a deal from which Nashville SC received $1 million in GAM (General Allocation Money) plus a clause that would see Nashville receiving 10% of any future sale by Montreal of Johnston.
In March of 2021, Alistair was called up to the senior Canada Men’s National Team, debuting with them 2 days later in a World Cup Qualifier vs. Bermuda, then scoring for Canada on the March 29th Qualifier vs. Cayman Islands. He also provided an assist at the same qualifying match.
Johnston has since played 13 WCQs for Canada overall, 11 of which saw him as a starter.
Fast-forwarding to the 2022 World Cup, he started all 3 matches Canada played in Group F before their group stage exit vs. Morocco on December 1st.
Alistair has also broken the record for most consecutive Canada Men’s National Team starts with 33. This record was previously held by Bruce Wilson (27, 1984-1986 CanMNT) and Paul Stalteri (25, 1998-2000)
Follow Alistair Johnston on Instagram @AlistairJohnston