Johnson, a 21-year old rookie, may have cemented his place as the Fire’s starting keeper with his performance. The Marietta, Ga., native allowed only goals on two penalty kicks from Landon Donovan and made several key saves to preserve the victory. His two biggest moments came when he denied a breakaway by Edson Buddle in the fourth minute and made a diving save in the 85th minute on a header by Alan Gordon.
“Johnson had a great performance and that speaks volumes about his abilities and character, because it’s not easy to play here at the Home Depot Center against the best team and be such an important player,” Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos said. “He had two or threes great saves, which allowed us to walk away with three points.”
A two-year starter for UCF in 2007 and 2008, Johnson played in each of the team’s 37 games and racked up 191 saves while a Knight, good for fifth place on the program’s all-time list. His 108 saves in 2008 are tied for the third-highest single-season total in UCF history and are the most by a Knight keeper since 1986. Johnson had a goals against average of 1.30. He left UCF after his sophomore campaign to play with the U.S. U-20 National Team.
After playing for the United States U-20 National Team in 2009, Johnson was selected by the Fire in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
UCF fans likely will have the chance to watch Johnson play this Sunday on ESPN2 when the Fire hosts Tierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls at 9 p.m. ET at Toyota Park.