Sean Johnson made five saves as New York City FC extended its franchise record with its sixth consecutive shutout with a 1-0 victory over Minnesota United on Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
Alexander Callens scored for the NYCFC (8-3-2, 26 points), which leapfrogged the Philadelphia Union into first place in the Eastern Conference by extending its unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1).
It was an MLS-leading eighth clean sheet for Johnson, who was called up to the U.S. National Team on Friday. NYCFC also became just the fourth team in MLS history to record six consecutive clean sheets and the first since the LA Galaxy did it from Oct. 2, 2009 to April 10, 2010.
Dayne St. Clair finished with four saves for Minnesota United (5-6-3, 18 points).
Minnesota United nearly took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Franco Fragapane took a Bongokuhle Hlongwane pass in the middle of the box but his straight-on right-footed shot was turned away by Johnson.
Callens made it 1-0 in the 29th minute with his third goal of the season when he bounced in a header into the left corner of the goal off a Santiago Rodriguez corner kick.
The Loons had a chance to tie it six minutes later but Brent Kallman’s header off an Emanuel Reynoso corner kick caromed off the right corner of the crossbar.
Minnesota did put the ball in the goal in the 53rd minute when Luis Amarilla netted a right-footed shot in from the middle of the box but the score was quickly waived off because several Loons were offside.
Talles Magno then missed a chance to increase NYCFC’s lead to two goals in the 57th minute when his right-footed shot from outside the penalty box bounced off the crossbar. Rodriguez slammed a header just over the crossbar six minutes later and St. Clair kept it a one-goal game in the 69th minute when he made a shoulder save on Thiago Andrade’s right-footed shot from the right side of the box.
Johnson then came up big in the 90th minute with a double-save, first deflecting a Reynoso left-footed shot from the left side of the box with a diving left hand save and then quickly getting up to tip Robin Lod’s right-footed shot from outside the box over the crossbar.
–Field Level Media