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Jamaican family ties not the focus for Fire GK Johnson

Sean Johnson points

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – It’s special for Sean Johnson to head back to Jamaica for Friday’s US men’s national team World Cup qualifier (8 pm ET, beIN Sport USA), but the Atlanta-born Fire goalkeeper wants to make it clear that his priority is making enough of an impression to stick around with the national team awhile longer.

“Jamaica obviously is a part of my culture, having my whole family from there,” Johnson said. “With that being said, we’ve got to go in and get a job done, task at hand, World Cup qualifiers and preparing for 2014.”

Johnson's parents hail from Jamaica, he still has family there and he even attended a few Jamaican national team camps at the U-17 and U-20 level.

He was one of four goalkeepers called in by Jurgen Klinsmann for the pair of qualifiers on Thursday in Kingston, and next Tuesday in Columbus.

Sunday’s call-up was Johnson’s second in the last three weeks after he travelled with the team for their 1-0 win in Mexico on Aug. 15.

“I’m just excited to be back in. You just want to stay there and keep your level high,” Johnson said. “It raises my level to try to keep up with those guys, with Tim [Howard] being one of the best of the world at it, and Brad [Guzan] and Nick [Rimando] holding the standard high.”

Johnson headed to national team camp in Miami on Monday after the Fire beat Houston, 3-1 on Sunday. He’ll return before Saturday’s exhibition against Santos Laguna.

“Now that we got business done [on Sunday], I can shift my focus to the qualifier on Friday and go in and compete,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a good experience going back to Jamaica after four years, going back there, working hard with the national team, it’s a great group. It’s always an honor to be called in for your country.”