NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson: ‘Special’ to be with club

Sean Johnson came to New York City FC in a three-team trade in December.
Sean Johnson came to New York City FC in a three-team trade in December. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

For an hour during the MLS offseason, current New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson seemed to be on his way to play for expansion Atlanta United. Then he was suddenly traded to NYCFC and the rest, well, is history.

In his second match back from international duty, Johnson played a huge role in the Blues’ 2-1 win over his former club, the Chicago Fire, Saturday.

“We’re in a position where if we press on, our destiny is in our own hands,” he told amNewYork during the club’s signing event at the Adidas flagship store in midtown Tuesday.

The result isn’t surprising. After struggling the last two years with Chicago, Johnson has quickly become a key part of NYCFC’s success this season, notching four clean sheets in 19 starts in goal, and he is 10-5-4 in goal this year, marking his third 10-win season. He could be on pace to surpass his career-best 16 wins if NYCFC gets hot entering the playoffs.

“I feel like it’s been a good year,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard, it’s been something I’ve done my entire career and it’s paying off with the results.

“It’s great being on this side now, having the quality of players that we have on the team and just being part of the group is special.”

Success hasn’t come easy. When he arrived in the Bronx, he had to learn a new system playing out of the back, something that he’s picked up quickly.

“I think it’s moreso a learning curve as far as how we wanted to play,” he said. “I see the game differently than I did for the past seven years. I think I’ve grown as a player in the system. It’s enabled me to venture out and do some things that I haven’t done in the past.”

To Johnson, coming to NYCFC this year has been “great,” and that old storyline is just business as usual.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business, you understand that,” he said.

“I think it all worked out for the best. I’m definitely happy.”