The Chicago Fire Reserves faced Sporting Kansas City on April 10 and lost 1-0 at Swope Park in Kansas City. Goalie Sean Johnson was able to play for the entire 90 minutes, and this is a positive sign that his fitness is improving. However, head coach Frank Klopas may still use Paolo Tornaghi at the April 15 match against the Houston Dynamo.
Sean Johnson at the Reserves Game
Sean Johnson gave a typical performance at the Chicago Fire Reserves game on April 10. He was not able to stop one goal from Sporting Kansas City's Soony Saad that allowed them to win but seemed to be back to his normal self. Johnson missed a significant portion of the Chicago Fire's training camp prior to the start of the 2012 season because of the U.S. U-23 men's national team.
Since his return to Chicago, Klopas has been slowly transitioning Sean Johnson back to the team. He also played in the friendly with the University of Louisville on April 7. I think giving him time to readjust to the team is a good idea and gives Paolo Tornaghi a chance to be in the starting lineup. I hope that Johnson eventually returns to the starting lineup because a long absence could resurrect the confidence issues fans saw in 2011. Frank Klopas has not revealed his choice for goalie in the April 15 match, but he may start Tornaghi and let Johnson play for part of the game.
Arne Friedrich Speculation Continues
Arne Friedrich did not play with the Chicago Fire Reserves on April 10. Instead, fans had the opportunity to see defender Austin Berry in the game. The potential center back replacement took the field for about half of the match. He was eventually replaced by Kheli Dube.
The absence of both Arne Friedrich and Paolo Tornaghi from the Reserves game could be a sign that Frank Klopas plans to use them in the starting lineup on April 15. The head coach is keeping quiet about the roster for the next game, but most sources agree that Arne Friedrich will probably be the center back.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.