MLS- Chicago Fire

Fire's Johnson to train with Stoke City and Everton

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson will be heading to England this winter for a pair of training stints with English Premier League sides Stoke City and Everton, the Fire announced on Wednesday.

Johnson, 23, is coming off his best pro season to date. He posted a career-best 1.24 goals-against average, with five shutouts. He showed impressive fortitude and maturity by overcoming the painful disappointment of his role in the U.S. Under-23 national team’s failure to qualify for the Olympics.

“Sean continues to improve and this season he demonstrated why he is one of the top goalkeepers in the country,“ said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “These opportunities allow for our players to gain additional training and experience at a top level during the MLS offseason.”

Johnson will stay with Stoke from Dec. 5th to Dec. 9th before joining U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard and U.S. goalkeeper coach Chris Woods at Everton from Dec. 10th to Dec. 23rd. The stint with Everton will be the second Johnson has had with the Liverpool-based club.

    • David JS

      I’ve always preferred Hamid, but both are still works in progress to some degree. Either one, or both, will probably at some point in the future start for the USMNT on the biggest stage. There’s really not much point in debating who is better right now, Guzan will likely start at the Gold Cup, and obviously Howard will be between the posts for the Hex.


    • David JS

      I agree, I think him and Hamid would benefit at this point in their careers with new challenges in Europe. Even though neither would probably be an immediate starter, that’d really the best situation; one that would allow them to adjust and improve without having their confidence shredded right off the bat.


    • Mike

      Both of these guys have sucked lately. The absolute best thing for them is to stay in MLS and keep playing and working through their inexperience. Sitting on a bench in Germany or the Netherlands isn’t going to help them any. They’ve both really only been starters for about two seasons – give them another 3 years in MLS as starters, and think of how good they’ll be as 25-26 year olds. At that age, they can make the jump and start immediately, and still have a solid 10-15 year career in Europe.

      They’re goalkeepers, there is no need to rush them across the pond at all.


      • wides


        No reason for them to go from a situation of playing every week to sitting on the bench, especially for a position that requires on the job learning.


      • David St. Hubbins

        #2 Exactly. These two guys are not that good and definitely not ready for a higher level yet. Most keepers have a much longer career arc than field players. They may have all the physical tools, but it takes time and lots of experience to get a keeper brain like Brad Friedel where everything is instinctual and you can read the game at a high level.


      • franki

        Send them to Scandinavia then. Theyre at least of that quality. what more else can thy learn in MLS?


  • YO

    Not good enough! Hamid and Johnson hunted by Olympic qualifiers failure. That’s just the way I feel –end of story!


    • David JS

      To be fair, Hamid was hurt, but yes Johnson completely melted down. But that doesn’t mean their careers are over, c’mon man…


      • Clay

        Completely melted down? Is that what we’re calling it now? The guy played less than a half, and I might add, put together some nice saves before the last one got away. Bill Hamid gave up four goals to Canada and El Salvador in just over a game and a half. It amazes me that it’s always Johnson who gets pegged with the blame.


      • Matt B.

        Its not that Johnson let in a goal, its the fashion in which the goal was scored. But I agree, that doesn’t take away from the obvious talent that he has.


  • Weaksauce

    Cookies in england are referred to biscuits in England

    I hope Sean “cookie monster” johnson can make the adjustment……

    cookie cookie cookie


  • chris_thebassplayer

    Right now, I’d give Johnson the edge over Hamid. The howler was a freak occurrence and is old news. He made half a dozen phenomenal reaction saves against the Quakes in SJ…the kind of saves that can steal a game for you. I also think his decision making is a little further along than Hamid’s.


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