Jan. 14, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (UCFAthletics.com) - Former UCF men's soccer player Sean Johnson had his lifelong dream come true Thursday evening when he was selected with the third pick (51st overall) of the fourth round by the Chicago Fire at the 2010 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia, Pa.
A two-year starter for UCF in 2007 and 2008, Johnson becomes the first UCF player to be drafted in the MLS SuperDraft. The 6-4 Lilburn, Ga., native was also the second goalkeeper selected in Thursday's draft, just two spots behind UCLA's Brian Perk, Johnson's teammate on the United States Under-20 National Team.
Johnson was also one of just three players in Conference USA selected in the draft, with each of the players selected within seven picks of one another. Kentucky's Jason Griffiths was picked 48th by the New England Revolution and SMU's Dane Saintus was selected by FC Dallas with the 54th pick.
"I am extremely excited for Sean that he was given this opportunity by an outstanding organization, the Chicago Fire, and I know that every one of his UCF teammates and coaches would echo that sentiment," said UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham, who attended the draft with Johnson and his family. "Sean had a great career at UCF and has worked extremely hard in his training to get to this point. We look for Sean to have an outstanding professional career and continue to be an outstanding representative of UCF and our soccer program."
Chicago went 11-7-12 in 2009 and finished second in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Fire advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship before falling in penalty kicks to the eventual 2009 MLS Cup champions, Real Salt Lake.
When he suits up in the league, he will become the second former Knight to appear in an MLS game. Eric Vasquez (2001-03) was drafted in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft and played for the Columbus Crew in 2006. Former UCF keeper Ryan McIntosh (2002-05) spent time with D.C. United, but never appeared in a game.
In his two seasons with the Knights, Johnson played in each of the team's 37 games and racked up 191 saves, good for fifth place on the program's all-time list. His 108 saves in 2008 are tied for the third-highest single-season total in UCF history and are the most by a Knight keeper since 1986. Johnson had a goals against average of 1.30.
Johnson did not compete for UCF during the 2009 season because he was selected to play with the United States U-20 National team and participated in the U-20 World Cup this past fall.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.