During every international window, a few New York City FC players tend to be called up to their national teams. In June, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, and Sean Johnson were all called up. Callens had the final World Cup Qualifying match, while Chanot and Johnson saw their Nations League campaigns begin for their countries.
Meanwhile, NYCFC had the entire international break off, and did not miss their vital veterans. All three will be available for the game against the Colorado Rapids.
Although, as seen throughout the season, it is likely Chanot will start on the bench, for the Pigeons have been purposely resting him throughout the year.
Nonetheless, all three saw action with their national teams. Here is a brief recap of the international window for the NYCFC players.
A number of New York City FC players appeared for their national teams in June
Alexander Callens (Peru)
Over the last couple of years, Alexander Callens has been a vital part of the Peru national team, so his call up was expected. The New York City FC defender started in both matches, for Peru only played in a friendly against New Zealand, and then the World Cup qualifier against Australia.
Peru won 1-0 against New Zealand, but was held to a 0-0 draw with Australia after 120 minutes in the World Cup qualifier. Ultimately, Callens and his team lost 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout. However, the center-back did convert his penalty, once again solidifying he is reliable in a shootout.
Still, Callens and his fellow defenders were strong defensively in both matches, for both New Zealand and Australia were held scoreless. Specifically, the NYCFC defender continued to be a menace in the defense; he limited opposition chances and cleared the ball when needed.
While Callens himself performed well, truly the overall defense led to the clean sheets, and gave Peru an opportunity to fight for a World Cup spot. They might not have achieved their goal, but Callens and his teammates fought until the end, and have a lot to be proud of.
Maxime Chanot (Luxembourg)
Leading up the June window, Maxime Chanot put his body on the line in multiple matches, including the win in the U.S. Open Cup over the New England Revolution. Some wondered whether he was too beat up to play for Luxembourg, but he was still called up.
In fact, Chanot started all four of Luxembourg’s Nations League games: the 2-0 win against Lithuania, the 1-0 win against the Faroe Islands, the 2-0 loss against Turkey, and then the 2-2 draw against the Faroe Islands. He played the full 90 minutes in three of the matches, which should show NYCFC he is healthy enough to play in more fixtures.
In the loss against Turkey, Chanot was applauded for keeping Luxembourg in the game. When his fellow defenders made mistakes or failed to act, he was there to back them up, and helped protect the goal. Of course, Turkey won, but the end result could have been much worse without Chanot.
Sean Johnson (USMNT)
Sean Johnson has been called up often for the United States Men’s National Team over the last few years, but rarely started a game. This time around, the New York City FC captain finally got the call behind the sticks. He was on the bench for the 3-0 win against Morocco, 5-0 win against Grenada, and the 1-1 draw away to El Salvador, but started against Uruguay.
Unexpectedly, the USMNT held their own against the South American side, and not just defensively too. Rather, the players were an offensive threat, but could not capitalize on the opportunities. On the other hand, when Uruguay was the threat, the defense and Johnson did enough to keep their opponents out of goal. This includes a vital kick save Johnson made 63rd minute of the friendly, which was one of his three saves during the fixture.
In the end, Johnson had an impressive outing between the sticks, and led the USMNT to a 0-0 draw against Uruguay. He also got another clean sheet, but more importantly, he proved that he can perform well internationally. If the goalkeeper continues to perform well for New York City FC, then one can bet he will be one the three goalkeepers called to the World Cup in November.
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