Following a big defeat away to the New England Revolution, more unfortunate news arrived at Orlando City SC's doorstep as midfielder Will Johnson was arrested and charged today with misdemeanor battery from an alleged domestic abuse incident.
A domestic violence call in the early morning led to Johnson's arrest
Based on a report by the Orlando Sentinel, the 30-year-old Toronto native was booked in Orange County jail at 2:37 am after a deputy had responded to a domestic violence call at 11:26 pm. Johnson posted bond and was awaiting release as of 5 pm on Wednesday evening.
The arrest affidavit said that the deputy spoke to Johnson's wife, Caroline Childs Johnson, and in a verbal and sworn written statement, Childs Johnson stated that her husband had tackled her and she had fallen to the ground and hit her head on the patio. She also sustained injuries to her limbs as well. Will Johnson's mother-in-law witnessed the incident and corroborated the story which led to Johnson's arrest.
Orlando and the MLS are ready to pursue further punishments pending investigations
Once the news had been confirmed, both the club and Major League Soccer issued statements that Johnson had been suspended from play until all investigations had been completed.
According to a statement released by the MLS, Will Johnson has been suspended pending investigations by both the league and the Orlando Police Department. The league "will remain in close communication with Orlando City SC, local law enforcement, and the MLS Players Union during this investigation", and until then, would not be providing any further comments on the situation.
Orlando released their statement, expressing that they were "working closely with MLS and local authorities" throughout this process and were fully behind the league's decision to suspend Johnson pending further review. Until the matter has been resolved, the club also stated that they will not be providing any further comment, just as the MLS has decided to do as well.
For Orlando, Johnson is now the second player arrested during this season after Cyle Larin's brush with the law and it could be a potentially season-breaking issue, on the pitch. The Floridian team is looking to salvage a season that started out brightly, but faded drastically and finds them sitting in tenth place in the Eastern conference.
Quotes via Orlandosentinel.com, MLSoccer.com and Orlandocitysc.com