There was little suspense for Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson this afternoon. The third-year pro was as close to a lock for Caleb Porter’s US Under-23 Olympic qualifying squad as could be found.
So when Porter made Johnson’s inclusion official on Monday afternoon, there was no shock. But there were plenty of other emotions.
“I’m just happy,” Johnson said. “It’s been a long process with a lot of camps. To be named to the qualifying roster was a great accomplishment for myself.”
It’s been a whirlwind offseason for Johnson, who trained with Everton and the Under-23 team, and played for the senior national team against Panama.
“It’s great at any level, whether it be the Under-20 [World Cup] that I had a chance to be a part of, and I’ve been lucky enough to get a few caps with the full team. It’s very special,” Johnson said. “This offseason was great for me. I got to play at a couple of different places, and some different levels as well. Training at Everton was great, and also playing for the national team.”
Johnson will leave for Nashville on Tuesday, where the United States will play three group stage games in the eight-team tournament.
“It’s always one of my goals to get better and put myself in the position to play in the Olympics,” Johnson said. “We’ve just definitely got to take care of business in the qualifiers so we’ll have the chance to play in the Olympics. For all of the U-23 players, it’s a big step in our careers.