Goalkeeper Sean Johnson Opens English Training Stint

Third-year keeper spending time with Stoke and Everton this offseason

CHICAGO, Ill. (Dec. 5, 2012) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that goalkeeper Sean Johnson will train with English Premier League sides Stoke City from Dec. 5 - 9 and Everton F.C. from Dec. 10 - 23.

“Sean continues to improve and this season 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.”

This is the second consecutive year that Johnson will train with the Toffees. In Dec. 2011, Johnson spent a week training with Everton and U.S. Men’s National Team’s starting ‘keeper Tim Howard and Everton and U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper coach Chris Woods.

In his third season with the Fire, Johnson appeared in a career-high 31 regular season games for the Men in Red in 2012, accumulating a 16-10-5 record, including five shutouts. Johnson’s 1.24 goals against average was the lowest in his three years as a professional. The Lilburn, Ga. native made 108 saves in 2012, including a career-high ten saves against the San Jose Earthquakes July 28.

Johnson, 23, made his international debut for the United States Jan. 22, 2011 against Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Johnson has been capped twice for the United States and was recently named to the travel squad for the international friendly in Russia Nov. 14.

Johnson is the third Fire player to train abroad this offseason. Defenders Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry are currently training with Spanish La Liga side Atlético Madrid through Dec. 9.