BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Fire rookie goalkeeper Sean Johnson may not have gotten the result he wanted Wednesday night, but he’s still happy that he has his first game behind him.
Johnson, a Generation Adidas signee selected with the 51st pick of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, made his first professional appearance and went all 90 minutes for the Fire in Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Chicago Sister Cities International Cup.
“It was a good opportunity,” Johnson said. “I think you learn from playing and this being my first game I think I did alright.”
Johnson, a product of the University of Central Florida, made three saves against PSG. Taking away from his three stops was PSG’s goal.
“I take full responsibility,” Johnson said. “I was in good position, the ball hit a little divot and I should’ve gotten a little bit of a better push forward and parried it away to be safe. At the end of the day, my defense knows I’ll take the goal on me.”
The 20-year-old Johnson also had some issues with the ball on his feet. He didn’t look confident with the ball – particularly when it was on his left foot – and it almost cost the Fire a goal in the 40th minute.
Fire center back C.J. Brown played a ball back to Johnson and the keeper appeared to get caught in between coming out to play it and letting the ball roll to him. Johnson’s resulting kick failed to clear the box and PSG midfielder Chistophe Jallet pounced on the loose ball – with only an offside call preventing the Ligue 1 side from scoring.
“I tried to just put it out of danger and tried to put it wide and it ended up at [Jallet’s] feet,” Johnson said. “I thought if he would have taken a shot I was in a good enough position to deal with it.”
Though Johnson feels like his game has room for improvement, on the whole, he was happy with his first appearance.
“They’re all minor improvements, technical stuff,” Johnson said. “Playing different games and getting the experience is what I need. The games are good, you only learn from your mistakes by playing. I’ve got a lot to improve on, but it’s a good start.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.