De los Cobos still unclear on goalkeeping situation

Fire head to LA with players on the mend and a question in net

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos told MLSsoccer.com last week that he hadn’t yet decided if he would start regular keeper Andrew Dykstra or backup goalie Sean Johnson in Chicago’s upcoming match at LA on Sunday.

On Tuesday morning, de los Cobos said that he is still undecided.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” de los Cobos said when asked who would start on Sunday. “I have all the week to think who start in the goal. Normally Andrew’s playing and normally Andrew’s number one but [Sean] is making good work. These two last matches I think that he make good work.”

Johnson, who trained with the first team last Friday, started the Fire’s last two matches – both SuperLiga games. He looked comfortable in net, only surrendering one goal in 180 minutes of action. Dykstra, who has started every league match this season, last played on July 14th – when he allowed five goals in a SuperLiga loss to Monarcas Morelia.

Salazar continues trial

Salvadoran defender Manuel Salazar participated in his third practice with the Fire on Tuesday morning. The 24 year-old Salazar appeared 46 times for Carlos de los Cobos with the Salvadoran national team.

“Salazar is a very good player,” de los Cobos said. “When I was with the national team for El Salvador he was one of the 11 who started. He has a strong personality and is a good player.”

Interestingly, de los Cobos said that Chicago – which has one empty roster slot – doesn’t have any room for Salazar.

“I want to have him adapt to the [environment] and maybe he is one option for us to strengthen the back, but we need a spot,” de los Cobos said. “Right now we don’t have a spot for another player.”

When told that Chicago does indeed have an empty roster spot, de los Cobos said that the team is “looking at other players.”

“Maybe we need to bring another player,” he said. “But for the moment I don’t know who the player is. We have another spot, we need to bring another player.”

Players on the mend

Patrick Nyarko (concussion), Baggio Husidic (left groin soreness), Dasan Robinson (right hamstring strain), Tim Ward (left calf strain), Steven Kinney (back spasms), Peter Lowry (head injury), and Calen Carr (left quad strain) all participated in full training Tuesday. De los Cobos was optimistic that each of the listed players would be available for the L.A. match.

“Some players are recovering this week,” he said. “It’s very important for us because we play against the best team in the league in L.A. and we need to try to get all the players back.”

One player missing from training was midfielder John Thorrington. The central midfielder has yet to play this season due to a left quad injury.

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com or on Twitter @ samstejskal.