Johnson fearless find for the Fire

Despite loss, rookie goalkeeper solid once again

Fire goalie Sean Johnson's impressive summer debut raises speculation he someday could star on the world stage with the U.S. national team or even join the sport's elite in Europe.

But the rookie goalie isn't playing along.

"I'm super young, I have a long way to go," Johnson said last week. "It's most important to focus on now. We have just nine games left and there's a lot at stake. ... If I don't play well now and if we don't do well now, there could very well not be a future."

Johnson gave up just one goal and had three saves Saturday, but the visiting Fire couldn't put anything past Philadelphia Union backup goalie Brad Knighton in a 1-0 loss at PPL Park.

Forward Sebastien LeToux beat Johnson in the 35th minute to break a scoreless tie while ex-Fire midfielder Justin Mappadded an assist.

The Fire (6-8-8, 26 points) are 0-3-2 in their last five games. The Union (6-11-6, 24 points) earned their first shutout of the season.

But Johnson is playing well. On Saturday, the 21-year-old keeper kept his string of strong games going since his Aug. 1 MLS debut. He has earned five save-of-the-week nominations (winning twice), shut out two opponents and given up just a goal apiece in three other games.

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