The expansion team Atlanta United has benefitted the NYCFC club by making number one goaltender Sean Johnson available to acquire in a three-way trade including the Chicago Fire.
The MLS Half-Day Trade Window opened up pretty large today as the Chicago Fire traded 27-year old top goalkeeper Sean Johnson to Atlanta United for General Allocation Money. Atlanta followed by trading Johnson to New York City Football Club for General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money.
Atlanta is reported to be near signing U.S. National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Johnson has been in MLS since 2010 as the 51st pick in that years MLS SuperDraft. He has been a rock in the net for seven years.
“Sean has defended our badge with passion and honor and we are thankful,” Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez wrote in a release.”
For NYCFC, whose defense was not a strong suit, an athletic netminder of Johnson’s caliber makes the competition for that position one of an extremely high level.
By acquiring a player who has made five appearances for the U.S. National Team running up the U-20 and U-23 teams to directly challenge Josh Saunders, it creates an atmosphere of battle for spots once thought safe, something NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira wants.
“Competition for places in our squad is important across every position and we believe we’ve signed a goalkeeper with a huge amount of experience in this league, with his best years ahead.”
In addition, Claudio Reyna is in agreement with Vieira in that they feel they scored a younger and better keeper than Saunders and will be the man in goal in the near future if not sooner.
“Sean is an athletic, commanding goalkeeper who is entering the peak of his career and we are excited to have him join our club.”
Don’t expect Saunders to be smiling as he ponders what starting 33 games in two seasons in New York City will buy him with Sean Johnson now breathing down his neck.