Sean Johnson is predicting a highly competitive return to action for NYCFC on Saturday afternoon.
San Jose Earthquakes arrive at Yankee Stadium hoping to make it three wins from four games as the March international break gives way to the return of MLS.
Standing in their way, Johnson will provide the last line of defense for an NYCFC team eager to get back to winning ways following the 1-1 tie with Montreal Impact two weeks ago.
Sean has settled straight into life in the Big Apple, providing a calming presence for a defense which has conceded just two goals in three games.
Although he’s mindful of an Earthquakes side he rates highly, the goalkeeper believes his team’s best chance of a second victory of the season is focusing on what they can do rather than being reactive.
Johnson told NYCFC.com: “San Jose is a quality team with quality players – their results have been good over the last few games.
“I think we’re looking at two teams who are confident in the way they play. The most important thing is for us to concentrate on what we’re trying to do.
“Over the course of the last two months we’ve been very focused on executing on what we want to do in games and correcting any issues that arise.
“The mood has been very good – with the international break happening at a time where we came off a couple of results, we’ve had time to really try to look forward and correct the things we needed to going into the San Jose game. It’s been a good couple of weeks of hard work and I think the boys are really gearing up towards this next game.”
NYCFC have a 1-1-1 record through three games in 2017 and Johnson is, for the most part, pleased with the progress made at this early stage.
Most pleasing has been the mentality demonstrated by the team in the first 270 minutes of the campaign – a factor he’s hoping will carry the boys in blue to victory once again on Saturday afternoon.
“The first game was, to be expected, a little hectic to start out until everyone gets settled but that’s natural with nerves,” he reflected.
“In the second game against DC, we were obviously really pleased and in the third, we were a little disappointed not to get the win.
“I think we’re doing the things we want to do as a team, sticking to the principles of the way we work, so for me that’s the big thing. We’ve been pleased with our mentality through games and we’re looking to build on that.”
Finally, Sean paid tribute to the fans and called upon them to create a cauldron of noise once again this weekend when NYCFC return to the Bronx.
He added: “It’s huge – it’s been excellent having support at the two games so far, especially with the way the weather has been.
“The fans are a huge, huge plus when we’re looking to press on and get victories at home.”