NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson stood out on both ends of the e-pitch, including operating his MLS side. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
New York City FC captured the Hudson River Derby over the Red Bulls in the eMLS Tournament on Sunday.
In leg one, NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson earned the 3-0 victory over USMNT teammate and crosstown rival Aaron Long with goals from Alexandru Mitrita (two) and Heber (one). Johnson made a diving save with himself to keep the clean sheet in second-half stoppage time.
In leg two, NYCFC eMLS competitor Chris Holly relied on Johnson’s goalkeeper heroics only 19 minutes in and again in the 62nd minute with two huge saves.
In the 68th minute, Holly gave Mitrita his third goal of the series and extended NYCFC’s aggregate lead to 4-0. The Red Bulls grabbed one back seven minutes later as George Adamou used Josh Sims to score.
A quick counter from Holly forced Adamou to use Long to make a slide tackle from behind in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Long was shown a red card for the reckless challenge and Holly decided for Johnson to take the kick. Holly converted, sending NYCFC to the Week Three Final with a 5-1 victory.
The Texas derby in the second match-pup featured FC Dallas vs. the Houston Dynamo and saw the MLS and eMLS players go scoreless after the two-legged series. FC Dallas midfielder Fafa Picault tallied the golden goal with Zdenek Ondrasek to send himself and his eMLS teammate Ihab ‘i9ibbs’ Abualneel to the Week Three Final.
The Week Three Final saw another deadlock after the two-legs with two more outstanding performances in goal from the digital version of Johnson.
Johnson converted with Heber to score the golden goal to send him and Holly to the eMLS Tournament Special Championship Sunday on May 17. Johnson will face the winner of the Week Four Tournament (Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, Orlando City SC or Atlanta United). On the other side of the bracket, Week Two winners Sporting KC will face off against the Week One winner, LAFC in the opening match on May 17.
As a result of NYCFC’s victories, a donation will be made by MLS WORKS and FOX Sports to Feeding America on behalf of NYCFC, with MLS WORKS also contributing to Food Banks Canada.