New NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson is hoping his move to the Big Apple will help him find a way back into the national team.
The 27-year old last appeared for his country in February 2015 but with a change in US coach and a change of club team, Johnson is setting his sights on working his way into Bruce Arena’s plans.
Johnson knows that a positive start in his new surrounds could provide the opportunity to show he can compete with Tim Howard for the starting spot ahead of Russia 2018.
The U.S team have suffered a stuttering start to the Hexagonal section of FIFA World Cup qualifying and Sean is ready, willing and able to help if given the call.
Johnson told NYCFC.com: “It’s always been a goal of mine to try to push and to get myself into the national team picture - especially for the no,1 slot.
“I’m a competitor who wants to represent their country at the highest level - to be the guy – it’s definitely a motivating factor for me.
“Hopefully I can get off to a good start at NYCFC and give myself the best opportunity to get back into the national team.”
Goalkeepers playing out from the back is a hot topic in the world game in 2016 and it’s an innovation Sean is especially looking forward to adopting at NYCFC.
While he admits it’s not a duty he’s had many opportunities to perform on a consistent basis throughout his career, Johnson believes that playing football is something that he’s more than capable of doing.
“Having the opportunity to play out of the back is massive for me as a player – to really play the style of soccer that Patrick wants to play,” he reflected.
“I’m capable – it’s just a case of getting in around players who also are doing the same thing.
“It’s something I’m really excited about as I haven’t had the chance to do it before in my career on a consistent basis. Most definitely it will be a positive change for me.”
Johnson also discussed the MVP title being bestowed upon his new teammate David Villa.
Revealing his admiration from afar, the 27-year old is now happy to have the Spanish striker on his side, rather than facing off against him.
Sean added: “David is a special player – he’s a DP who works tirelessly for the team first and foremost.
“His passion and quality make him a fantastic player. I’ve been on the receiving end before coming here and, while you always want to test yourself as a goalkeeper against strikers with that quality, now I’m just glad to have him on my side!”