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New York City FC has goaltending changes as Johnson Departs and Freese added

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Sean Johnson. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

In a flurry of moves New York City FC had a huge change in the goalkeeper position recently, as they had lost Sean Jonson to Toronto FC, but was able to gain Matt Freese.

These moves, made in separate times of the day, showed the continuous changing of the guard for New York City FC. The first announcement the team made was the fact that Johnson had departed NYCFC for Toronto.

Johnson who has been the heart, soul and one of the leaders for the boys in blue will be one who will be missed with the  2023 campaign being just around the corner. Sean, who was signed by the team in 2016 and became the team’s number one goalkeeper in 2017. Since then he has been able to play in 206 matches, tallying 18,660 minutes, while recording 60 clean sheets. 

Thanks to his amazing leadership ability, Johnson was appointed as the team’s captain in the 2021 season, where he was able to have 10 clean sheets in the regular season and playoffs combined and became a huge part of the team winning their first ever MLS Cup Championship.

NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “We would like to thank Sean for all the hard work and leadership he has given to this Club both on-and-off the field. Sean has been a leader and a fantastic professional since the day he arrived and ultimately played such an important part in winning the Club our first MLS Cup in 2021. 

“Sean has also been a role model and we have been proud of the work he has done in the community and in his role on the Executive Board of Black Players for Change. Sean has given everything to this Club since he has arrived, but we understand his decision to take on a new challenge and to do what he feels is best for him and his family. We wish him nothing but the best in the next stage of his career.” 

Later in the day the franchise had announced that they were able to sign Goalkeeper Matt Freese from the Philadelphia Union.

NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “We are delighted to have been able to finalize this acquisition and would like to welcome Matt to New York. He is an extremely talented American goalkeeper who is coming into the best years of his career. He is an excellent shot stopper, and we believe is ready to take the next step in his career and we are excited to see his continued development at NYCFC.”  

“We knew there was a possibility that we would need to add a goalkeeper to our group this season and Matt has been our priority target and will provide excellent competition for Luis Barraza and Cody Mizell. We believe that Matt complements our strong core of keepers at the Club, while also having the talent and opportunity to compete for the starting role.” 

Freese has been a rising goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union, as he became the 10th player in history to move from the Academy to the FIrst Team in 2018. Freese, who hails from Wayne, Pennsylvania has been able to start in 16 games, logging 1,334 minutes for the Union.

Matt Freese said: “I am excited to be joining New York. They are a Club with a rich history of success and player development. I’m buzzing to work with Nick Cushing, Rob Vartughian and the rest of the coaching staff to be able to reach my full potential. I look forward to working as hard and as smart as possible every day in order to contribute to the team and continue to hone my craft.”  

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