The Lilburn, GA native is back in the ATL. Well, not really.
Atlanta United have acquired Sean Johnson from the Chicago Fire in exchange for general allocation money, but will flip the keeper to NYCFC. Supposedly, this is a way to make room for Brad Guzan when the international transfer window opens in January. Atlanta will receive GAM and TAM from New York.
Johnson, 27, had actually played in Atlanta before as a member of the Atlanta Blackhawks in the USL Premier Developmental League back in 2009.
He has spent his entire professional career with the Chicago Fire since being drafted by the club in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, totaling 36 clean sheets in 176 appearances.
Sean Johnson had a base salary of $253,000 last season, and his option was picked up by the Fire earlier in the month. One can assume Atlanta United would have had to pay him that same salary. With the likely addition of Guzan, it did seem unnecessary to pay that much for what would’ve been a backup keeper.
It does however beg the question, why did Atlanta United trade for Johnson in the first place? Was this the plan the entire time, or did Atlanta realize Guzan was a possibility after they traded for Johnson?
Either way, this looks like a solid piece of business from Atlanta United, as strange as this entire transaction is. We will have to wait and see what Atlanta receives from NYCFC to make a final judgement.
Fair warning to Atlanta United fans, this next month is going to be absolutely bonkers when it comes to building the roster. This is just a small taste of things to come.