As the US national team opens camp this week in Carson, California one of the top young players on the roster is Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson who is playing with the national team for the first time.
Johnson, 21, is coming off a strong rookie season where he emerged as the Fire's starting keeper halfway through the season. His play has seen him get rewarded with a national team call-up from US coach Bob Bradley.
"I was pretty excited," Johnson told YA about receiving the call-up. "I appreciate the opportunity and the chance to represent my country on the national team."
Johnson's emergence with the Fire during the second half of the season had made his inclusion into the national team widely expected by most national team followers. For Johnson though, it was not something that was on his mind.
"To be honest, I didn't focus too much on whether or not I would be on the January camp," Johnson admitted. "I was just focused on finishing the season out on a good note after it wasn't possible for us to make the playoffs. After the season was done, I hoped to get called into camp then it became a reality."
Once camp opens, Johnson's top priority will be to play well over the three weeks and convince Bradley that he should be the starting goalkeeper for the friendly against Chile on January 22nd. It will also be an opportunity for him to try to make an impression that he can be in the national team's plans moving forward.
"I want to gain experience because it's my first full national team camp," Johnson said of his expectations. "I am going in there with the right mindset and attitude, working hard, and try to make the roster for the Chile game. I think that is the goal. I am just going to take it a day at a time. I'll put the work in and I think things will work out."
"It's definitely everyone's goal to rise through the depth chart and that's something I definitely want to be a part of," he added. "It's just day-to-day can I keep the level of consistency where I can show that I am capable of playing at that level. I think the January camp is a really good place for me to start to achieve that."
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