It’s extremely hard to point to one reason why New York City FC has gone unbeaten through their first five games. Obviously, their consistent goalscoring has played a part — NYCFC have scored exactly two goals in each of their five matches thus far. City’s prowess in the midfield has definitely payed dividends, as it has with the defense.
But a constant unsung hero would be goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Through the early part of the season, the Atlanta-born No. 1 has had two clean sheets. Additionally, Johnson has had 21 saves in 2018 which is good for the league’s best in that category. He also leads the MLS in save percentage with 84%.
And that’s not all. Look at this crazy metric by our local soccer nerds at Dummy Run:
Fun data point on this: Johnson's current save efficiency (post-shot xGA/GA) of 129.3% is better than David De Gea has managed in six out of his eight seasons. https://t.co/wF5TjwVB3v— Dummy Run (@thedummyrun) April 6, 2018
Obviously, any stat that compares Sean Johnson to David de Gea should be taken with a grain of salt to say the very least. Johnson and de Gea play in two different leagues on two different continents and if we’re being totally honest, the Premier League has a much, much more sophisticated — and better — talent pool than Major League Soccer has. Thus, any comparison between the two might be considered moot.
With all that said, however, the numbers don’t lie when it come to Johnson’s profiency in net. Since arriving to NYCFC ahead of the 2017 season, SeanJohn has proven time and time again to be among the league’s elite when it comes to stopping shots.
In every respect, Johnson is an extremely important player for NYCFC. And that cannot, and should notbe understated.