Sean Johnson: “Mistakes happen. It’s about responding to it. There was a lot of game left to play and the boys in front of me responded in a big way. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
ST. PAUL, Minn. — It looked like a simple back pass from Ebenezer Ofori, who slipped the ball to teammate Sean Johnson.
Then, the veteran goalkeeper did the unthinkable, he allowed the ball to slip through his legs for Minnesota United’s third goal in a 3-3 draw with New York City FC in the opening of Allianz Stadium Saturday.
Johnson, who has made his share of mistakes through the years, made no excuses.
“Going back to the play, I think there’s no point in making excuses,” he said. “Mistakes happen. It’s about responding to it. There was a lot of game left to play and the boys in front of me responded in a big way.
“I think all game, everybody fought until the death. We had guys coming off injured that were giving everything, so I’m really happy that everybody had my back today, and it was an important point for us, but obviously disappointed to let the guys down in that moment, but things happen, and they know. I apologized to them, put my hand up, and we moved forward. Everybody assured me that they had my back today, and we were able to come back out with a point.
Immediately after the ball went into the goal, NYCFC defender Anton Tinnerholm consoled his teammate.
“No one wants to go through that, but it’s going to happen to all of us at some point or another,” center back James Sands said. “I think it was good of Anton especially. It shows that people have your back, and as I said, mistakes are going to happen, but you’re going to have to move past it. I thought he played great the rest of the game.”
NYCFC head coach Domenec Torrent, who is on the hot seat because his team is still winless, wasn’t upset with the own goal.
“Sean Johnson is amazing, he has personality,” he said. “After we concede the goal, because everybody conceded the goal, we played amazing. He played with confidence. That’s the most important thing, he has the personality to keep playing with the top teams. I’m very proud of him, because it’s not easy after that happens to play with confidence. The problem is when we play poorly or don’t play with confidence. I am very proud of him, because it’s not easy to recover quickly after that.”