June 25th, 2024

Veteran goalkeeper Sean Johnson gets contract extension from Toronto FC


By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on June 11, 2024.

Toronto FC's Sean Johnson in action during the MLS soccer match against the Philadelphia Union, in Chester, Pa., Wednesday, May 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Szagola

Toronto FC has signed veteran goalkeeper Sean Johnson to a one-year contract extension through 2025 with a team option for 2026.

Johnson, 35, joined Toronto in January 2023 as a free agent after six seasons with New York City FC.

In his two seasons in TFC colours, he has recorded 10 clean sheets in 35 games across all competitions.

The U.S. international, whose existing contract expires at the end of this season, is making US$703,300 this year, according to the MLS Players Association.

Johnson has four shutouts and 40 saves in 12 league starts in a season that has come with several milestones.

He recorded his 100th career clean sheet, in MLS regular-season and post-season play, in Toronto’s Feb. 25 season opener against FC Cincinnati. On May 25, in another game with Cincinnati, he celebrated his 400th MLS appearance (385 regular season and 15 playoff matches), joining Seattle’s Stefan Frei as the second active MLS ‘keeper to reach the milestone.

“I am excited to extend my time in Toronto. The fans have welcomed me with open arms since arriving,” Johnson said in a statement. “TFC has a rich history of success and I’m committed to giving everything to add some more special moments for the club and the city.”

The 16-year veteran became just the fourth goalkeeper in MLS history to record at least 100 regular-season clean sheets in a scoreless draw May 29 at the Philadelphia Union.

“He’s starting to become, I think, a bit of an MLS legend,” coach John Herdman said after the game.

Toronto GM Jason Hernandez called Johnson “an integral part of our evolution both on and off the field.”

“Sean will continue to provide us with the consistency and stability we will need in our group as we continue to push towards reaching our full potential,” Hernandez said in a statement. “His leadership has been a fundamental aspect of our team’s identity, and we look forward to Sean helping our club achieve its goals in 2024 and beyond.”

Prior to joining NYCFC, Johnson played seven seasons for the Chicago Fire after being selected in the fourth round (51st overall pick) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

The Georgia native joined NYCFC in November 2016 and served as the club captain since 2021. That year he led New York to its first MLS Cup championship and was named the MLS Cup final MVP after making two saves in a penalty shootout to defeat the Portland Timbers.

Internationally, Johnson has won 13 caps for the U.S. with six clean sheets.

Toronto (7-7-3) hosts Chicago (3-8-6) on Saturday at BMO Field.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024

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