Sean Johnson: “I’ll be supporting and cheering loud for the squad from home. I know they are going to leave everything out there tomorrow night and onward!” (Photo courtesy of MLS)

By Michael Lewis
FrontRowSoccer.com

Sean Johnson might not be in Orlando in person, but he will be there in spirit, rooting his New York City FC teammates on.

The veteran goalkeeper can’t play against UANL Tigres in the second leg of NYCFC’s Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series Tuesday night because he was “declared a close contact” to one of the players who tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m sad to say I won’t be joining the team in Orlando as I was declared a close contact to one of the players who recently tested positive for COVID,” he said on Twitter Monday night. “I have tested negative up to this point and hopefully continue to do so.

“The health/safety of myself, teammates, staff and family are of utmost importance so I’m isolating in accordance with the proper protocols.”

Johnson, 31, started all 23 regular season games for NYCFC, recording a 12-8-3 mark, seven shutouts and a 1.09 goals-against average. He also led the league with 81 saves.

“It’s been a long and challenging season and I’m disappointed I’m not able to battle with the boys for a CCL trophy,” he said. “I’ll be supporting and cheering loud for the squad from home. I know they are going to leave everything out there tomorrow night and onward!

“Sending thoughts and prayers to all families impact by this pandemic.”

He will be replaced in the Starting XI by Luis Barraza, who has not played an MLS match in two years with the club.