Sean Johnson
AP Photo

The Big Apple knows how good Sean Johnson is but here are five things that might not be known about NYCFC’s star keeper.

Sean Johnson is one of the most reliable keepers in the MLS. New York City F.C. fans surely know that. The keeper carried the team to a 0-0 draw versus D.C. United on Sunday with three heroic saves. Johnson’s performance against D.C. earned him an MLS Team of the Week selection.

The U.S. international making the Team of the Week wasn’t a surprise to the club’s supporters. However here are five things about him that might stun the NYCFC fans:

1. Johnson played forward in high school

NYCFC never signed the No. 9 they wanted during the offseason. No problem, Johnson can play up there. According to the UCF Knights, the 29-year-old’s former college, he played forward his junior year with Brookwood High School. Johnson registered five goals and eight assists that season.

Rewinding back to his freshman year, the netminder didn’t concede a single goal in 11 games. Hard to pick which one is more striking, Johnson playing forward or Johnson not allowing a goal in 11 games as a freshman in high school.

2. He likes to nap before games

In an interview with Kaitlyn Bigica in August of 2017, Johnson shared that he tends to fall asleep to Netflix before leaving his house for games. Perhaps a power nap was the secret behind his Team of the Week performance versus D.C. last weekend.

3. Johnson had braids

10 years ago the NYCFC keeper had a totally different hairstyle than the one he has now. He had braids. A good look at Johnson with braids is the video of an interview he had while playing for the U.S. U-20 team on March 9, 2019.

Obviously, the American didn’t lose any of his goalkeeping skills after cutting his hair

4. Johnson is the only fourth-round pick in 2010 who’s playing in the MLS now

Hard to believe that one of the best keepers in the MLS was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS Super Draft as the 51st pick. Johnson is the only draft pick from the fourth round who’s playing the MLS now.

5. The NYCFC keeper started playing basketball before soccer

Johnson’s first sport wasn’t soccer, it was basketball. The ex-Chicago Fire man didn’t start playing soccer until he was nine when he’s been playing basketball since when he was five. He was selected on the Gwinnett County High School Team of the Month after leading Brookwood in scoring and rebounds as a power forward.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.