Usually when a goalkeeper gets Man of the Match, it’s a sign that he’s been pummeled with shots through the 90’.
That wasn’t the case for Sean Johnson in NYCFC’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas but he earned the award and the plaudits another way.
Playing for a team that is used to dominating possession and creating chances at the other end requires a completely different set of characteristics for a goalkeeper than a pure shot-stopper.
Johnson had already shown what a good defensive organizer he is and has also demonstrated his leadership skills in his first ten games for NYCFC – on Sunday night, he also proved he can make the big saves when his team needs them and he earned a place in the MLS Team of the Week for his heroics.
Johnson’s stop from Maxi Urruti is the one that has been shortlisted for MLS Save of the Week and it was certainly the most pleasing on the eye but his second heavy stop was, technically, even better.
Tesho Akindele had streaked clear of the defense and hit what he must have thought was the goal that would restore FC Dallas’s lead – but there was the NYCFC no.1 who got down low and threw out the strongest of hands to tip the shot around the post.
Just getting to the shot was a feat in itself, but to have the strength in the arm to divert it wide was a testament to Johnson’s athleticism and reflexes.
An incredible save that only gets better the more times you see it.
In Sean’s Words…
“I think that I knew that at any point in time in the game Dallas were dangerous on the counter. They have players who were quick to get on the box, so it was all about staying in the right mindframe and being ready to do what I could to help the team.
“I was able to come up and help the team get a point on the road which was massive but all the team battled from front to back and contributed – it was a massive point from the team.”
The Fans Said...
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