Johnston deal waits on Morocco, Celtic experience decisive in Carter-Vickers call

We’re probably just waiting for Canada to play Morocco tomorrow afternoon to conclude their participation in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, before Ally Johnston signs for Celtic.

In the know journalist Tom Bogert is the latest to provide an update that this transfer deal that will now surprise no-one is on and set to be concluded imminently.

Canada’s defender #02 Alistair Johnston and Belgium’s forward #10 Eden Hazard react during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Canada at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 23, 2022.Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

“Sources: Alistair Johnston’s transfer from CF Montreal to Celtic is being finalized. Agreements now reached between all. All but done. Johnston, 24, currently with Canada at the World Cup. Had career year with Montreal this year. Other Euro clubs interested. Big move,” Tom Bogert reports.

Meanwhile the reason that Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was selected in the starting eleven for the United States in their must win match against Iran last night has been revealed.

The USA with two points after drawing with both Wales and England, trailed Iran by a point at the IR Iran defeated Wales. So a draw would have been enough to see Iran qualify for the knock-out rounds for the first time ever. That meant as a draw would have suited Iran they were likely to sit in and protect what they had with the onus on the United States to attack looking for the goal they needed.

And considering all that carefully meant that USA coach Gregg Berhalter opted to draft in the Celtic central defender and it certainly paid dividends, although it was a tough decision to leave out the impressive Walker Zimmerman.

“It is difficult after getting a shutout against England to take Walker out, and it was a difficult conversation with Walker,” Berhalter admitted. “And then the rationale was that Cam does this. We expected Iran to be in a low block and Cam does this every single week with Celtic.

“We thought that was just a very logical decision. He’s used to defending space behind, he’s also used to building up against a compact defence.

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 29: Cameron Carter-Vickers of United States looks on during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between IR Iran and USA at Al Thumama Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

“So to me, that was a good fit and he played really well. You see how resilient this group is, you see how unified this group is, you see what type of energy and output they put into every single game, and then along the way there’s some pretty good soccer.”

The USA’s 1-0 win over Iran, with Carter-Vickers outstanding in dealing with a late Iranian onslaught looking for an equaliser that would have taken them through, means that Berhalter has a tough call to make this weekend when the USA take on Netherlands – with former Celtic star Virgil van Dijk captaining the Dutch – in the round of 16.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

Comments are closed.