With the end of the year quickly approaching, New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson is about to be a free agent. His contract expires on December 31st and, shockingly, the captain did not receive any extension offers during the past season.
The 33 year old might be getting up there in age, but he has continued to perform at a high level. He had the second-most clean sheets in the 2022 Major League Soccer regular season, with 14. His saves number might have been lower compared to previous years, but there was that difficult stretch during the summer, and the defense helped him out immensely when the team was playing their best.
That being said, Johnson is notorious for making the critical saves. How can fans forget what he did back during the 2021 MLS Cup run, especially with the penalty saves against the New England Revolution and Portland Timbers?
Plus, his goals-allowed average has been on the lower end the last few seasons, with 1.07 in 2021 and 1.21 in 2022. These seasons both included periods where the defense was shaky. Also, he plays well from out of the back, and his passing ability fits the team’s style of play.
New York City FC should bring back Sean Johnson for 2023
Of course, the New York City FC goalkeeper is a leader, and is beloved by his teammates and the fans. There is a reason he was named captain when Alex Ring was traded, so between that and his talent, NYCFC must re-sign him right away.
The Pigeons did mention they were in discussions with anyone who was out of contract. Johnson has been with the USMNT in Qatar for the World Cup, so any conversations had to be put on hold. But now, the US has been knocked out, and NYCFC should immediately reach out to their leader.
Johnson’s continuation of high-level performances will make him a hot commodity on the free agent market. Due to his age, and then his talent, he could easily get a high salary, short term contract. Likely, he would get more than his current earnings of $550,000, as he should. Then, he would probably get a short term contract of one to two years.
As a result, NYCFC needs to act fast, and make sure that the USMNT player does not end up elsewhere in MLS. He is too talented, and to let him go at this time would not be a smart decision. In addition, Johnson deserves a higher salary and the loyalty of the New York City FC ownership, for Johnson has been loyal to the club. Even during the difficult periods, he never backed down, and always fought for his team, both on the pitch, and off.
In all honesty though, if Johnson expresses a wish to go elsewhere, then that is a good reason for him to leave. Hopefully, that is not, and will not, be the case. If Johnson expresses that he wants to stay, and asks for a salary increase, then the Pigeons should oblige.
New York City FC can afford to bring back Sean Johnson, and ideally both sides are on the same page with returning. The right move would be to work out a deal before the end of 2022. That way, there are no questions about the goalkeeper position, and who would be the captain as well.