Back in training

Johnson returns after injury

A welcome sight on the Toyota Park training pitch this week
has been that of Sean Johnson’s 6-3 frame manning one of the goal boxes.

The 21-year-old rookie goalkeeper returned to full training
Tuesday after spending nearly two weeks recuperating from a shot taken to the
face in training on October 5. Johnson was diagnosed with Hyphema in his right
eye, which occurs when blood seeps into the eye, blocking vision.

“I’ve never had anything so sever,” said Johnson following
Wednesday’s training session. “I think the scariest part about the whole thing
is you kind of take a different perspective on things and put yourself in other
people’s positions. I was literally blind for about 20 minutes. I couldn’t see
anything out of my eye when it was open. I’m thankful that I still have my
vision and nothing was too serious. It was probably one of the scariest
injuries I’ve ever had aside from breaking my leg – when you do that you know
you’re going to recover, but as a goalkeeper your vision is so important.”

The first-year keeper was thrown into the starting lineup on
August 1, playing admirably as the Fire downed the league-leading Los Angeles
Galaxy 3-2 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Johnson was happy to be back
at training this week, preparing for a return to the site of his first MLS
start when the Fire close out the 2010 season against Chivas USA Saturday.

“It’s good to go back. It’s another away game and those are
always tougher. We had a stretch where we had a lot of home games and now it’s
back on the road. I started there – it’s a great stadium and has a great
atmosphere. Being out for a week, it’s going to be important for me to come out
and have a solid performance – not do too much but just get the job done.”

And while the playoffs have been out of the club’s sights
for a couple weeks, Johnson still views the match against Chivas a vital one.

“You want to call this game in LA the most important game of
our season because it’s all about momentum -- how we leave off and how the
spirits are at the end of the season. We owe it to the fans and the
organization to come out and do a job on Saturday night.”

Jeff Crandall is the Team
Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter
@JefeCrandall.