Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sean Johnson: Keeper of the Future
by Alec Mishra, July 19th, 2013 1:19AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[USA MEN] Nick Rimando may be expected to start in goal again when the USA faces El Salvador in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, but that doesn't mean Sean Johnson didn't pass a crucial test with his performance against Costa Rica last Tuesday.

For Rimando, a 34-year-old with 14 years of MLS experience and perennial third-stringer to regulars Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, the Gold Cup meant finally getting significant minutes at the international level. But after Rimando got starts against weaklings Belize and Cuba, the 24-year-old Johnson, who had only played three previous times for the USA, got the start against a much more formidable foe.

Costa Rica returned to the USA set on avenging its controversial 1-0 defeat in a March World Cup qualifier now known as the “Snow Bowl” to face an upstart American side that had been scoring goals in bunches.

Adding to the magnitude of the match, Costa Rican coach Jorge Luis Pinto said his team would attack the Americans as it needed a victory to win Group C, whereas the USA just needed a draw to advance as the group champion.

Despite his age, Johnson boasts an impressive amount of professional experience. After two standout seasons at the University of Central Florida as well as inclusion on the USA’s squad at the Under-20 World Cup in 2009, the Chicago Fire selected Johnson in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

Although he one of the last picks in the draft -- 51st overall -- it didn’t take long for the Georgia native to make an impact. After winning the starting job in early August 2010, Johnson hasn’t looked back and has gone on to make 86 appearances for the Fire. For his efforts, Klinsmann has rewarded Johnson with frequent call-ups, primarily in an understudy role to Howard or Guzan.

But Johnson’s most notable appearance on the international stage went badly. American fans will painfully recall the U.S. U-23 team’s failure at the 2012 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament. Despite boasting a talented squad led by current senior team players Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud and Brek Shea, the heavily favored Americans tied El Salvador in the final group stage match after Johnson – who came off the bench to replace injured Bill Hamid -- inexplicably spilled a stoppage time shot into his net, resulting in elimination for the USA.

But when faced with another crucial international test on Tuesday, Johnson came through in a big way. While Shea’s goal off of a beautiful assist from Landon Donovan may steal the headlines, it was Johnson’s acrobatic save from a close-range header after a Costa Rican corner that led to the game-winning goal. Johnson’s reflex-save not only jumpstarted the American counterattack, it denied Costa Rica on its best chance of the game.

Although Johnson was largely untested throughout the match, when he was asked to make a big-time save he delivered, a truly essential task any keeper must accomplish. A  performance indicating he leads the group of younger keepers in line to take over when the veterans move on.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Americans battle for top spot in Mexico    
NWSL: Hope Solo granted 'personal leave'    
The Hope Solo saga took another turn on Saturday as her NWSL team, Seattle Reign FC, ...
MLS Week 25: Results & Standings    
Montreal ended Toronto FC's seven-game unbeaten streak (six wins and a tie) when Ignacio Piatti's goal ...
Video Pick: Wood strikes in Bundesliga debut    
It took 23-year-old American Bobby Wood, who scored 17 second division goals for Union Berlin last ...
U.S. Abroad: Johansson returns in crushing Bremen defeat    
Aron Johannsson returned to action in the Bundesliga for the first time in 11 months, starting ...
USA names roster for U-17 Women's World Cup    
Coach B.J. Snow has named the USA's 21-player roster for the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup ...
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives