Johnson made two early penalty-kick stops, first on Felipe Mora and then on Diego Valeri, to give NYCFC the 4-2 shootout win that settled a 1-1 draw. In both instances, the US men’s national team netminder dove to his right and stopped Portland in front of the Timbers Army.
MLS Cup 2021 was held at Providence Park, with Johnson’s star moment and four saves sending the Cityzens into rapturous celebrations. In the process, the 32-year-old captain also helped book a 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot.
Johnson, NYCFC’s goalkeeper since the 2017 season, is a huge part of their core that fueled this championship run as the Eastern Conference’s No. 4 seed. He posted nine clean sheets during the regular season.
Johnson’s stop on Mora was cathartic after the Chilean international equalized in the 94th minute, sending the game to extra time and canceling out Taty Castellanos’ 41st-minute opener.
But then NYCFC got the last laugh, sparked by Johnson’s biggest moment since originally joining the league in 2010 with Chicago Fire FC.