Competition for places is good news for everyone, says NYCFC goalkeeper Eirik Johansen.
The Norwegian has struck up a positive working relationship with new offseason addition Sean Johnson despite the fact that there will only be one slot up for grabs in Orlando on the opening weekend.
Johansen split duties with Johnson in both preseason games to date, in the 9-0 win over Jacksonville University and the 2-2 draw against Emelec in Ecuador, playing 45 minutes each.
Although only one of them can play when the season gets under way in three weeks, Eirik believes that competing for the spot will bring out the best of both goalkeepers.
Eirik told NYCFC.com: “It’s been really good working with Sean – he’s a really good guy and Patrick wants competition for places.
“Even though he’s played a lot more games in MLS than I have, I’m going to put up a fight – it’s been really good working with him.
“I’m just trying to keep my head down and do as much work as I possibly can through preseason and get as many minutes in as I can.
“There’s three of us here so there’s got to be some sharing, so I must take my chances when I get them. I felt like I make a couple of good saves against Emelec but other than that there wasn’t a lot to do.
“I was saying earlier how goalkeepers are pretty good at balancing out games with each other and we’re tight as a group, so nothing different there as far as I’m concerned – I’m happy he’s aboard.”
NYCFC arrived in Tucson for the Desert Diamond Cup on Sunday night and Johansen is happy that the opportunity to play against other teams from the league has arisen.
With Wednesday’s game against Red Bulls coming up fast, Eirik feels as though this is the perfect opportunity to find out where the team is at physically.
“It’s going to be good in Tucson to finally play some MLS opponents to get a feel for the season and find out where we stand compared to them,” he said.
“Some of them have already played more games this preseason against other MLS teams so it’s definitely going to be interesting.
“I’m really looking forward to it – they should be some really interesting games as we continue to get ready for the season.”
On that draw with Emelec on Wednesday night, Eirik was blown away by the atmosphere inside Estadio George Capwell.
He added: “For all of the players involved and I know I can say that it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in.
“I think you could see at times that they’ve already started their season and played a big longer than we have – we knew what was coming that they were going to come out flying with a lot of energy and intensity, as well as the physical aspect of it – there was always going to be a difference.
“Saying that though, I thought we fought back well at the end and got that late goal to make it 2-2 and I think it was a good result and a great experience.
“It’s easy when you go 2-0 down and you’re tired, it’s really easy to let it go but no, we fought well and grabbed two goals back.”