Gameday Q&A: Paolo Tornaghi in the spotlight ahead of Sunday's game

Italian 'keeper Tornaghi ready to step back in for Sean Johnson

Jeff Crandall: What has been the best moment in your young career?

Paolo Tornaghi: I think I have two, one for each phase of my career. In Italy I was part of the team that won the Reserve League with Inter Milan. The final game was very emotional for me because after coming up through the Academy there, we won the most important cup for youth players in Italy.

My other one was my first start for the Fire last year in Montreal. I remember that game very well and it was a very positive moment for me because after coming over and working hard in preseason to become a Fire player, I went there and played a good game in front of an incredible atmosphere.

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JC: You were at the United Center the other night to see the Bulls take on the Denver Nuggets… Italian connection?

PT: Of course! I was there seeing my friend Danilo Gallinari who plays for the Nuggets and it was very exciting because they told me it was a strange game because they went to extra time and that doesn’t happen all the time.

Also there was the other Italian here in Chicago, Marco Belinelli who played a very good game and was one of the best for the Bulls. It was very exciting for me to see.

JC: There are a lot of Italians now playing in MLS with Montreal leading the way. You’re also here along with former Chelsea ‘keeper Carlo Cudicini. What can you say about the Italian influx in the league?

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PT: I think in Montreal the guys there are making a very good job. From last year they got better and we can see that now in the very first games they are making the difference there.

Talking about Carlo, I met him when we played in LA. Obviously that wasn’t a very lucky game for us  but I think he’s a very experienced goalie and he can improve the defensive part of LA. They don’t have trouble creating but I think this guy can make MLS better.

JC: What is it like working with Aron Hyde? What is the comparison between the training you’ve received in Italy and here in the U.S.?

PT: It’s quite different the way they play here in MLS. In Italy there are more technique guys and the training for the keeper is different. Here the speed of play is much faster so we are training on that stuff. I remember when I came here last year in preseason I was really surprised in a positive way from how Aron works. It’s something that I really like about the Fire, that I can train very well and make myself better.

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JC: Talk about the offseason surgery you had on your pinky finger.

PT: It’s quite common for the goalies to have problems with the fingers. I had this problem with the pinkie late in last season so I kept going for two months until the end.

Of course in the offseason I needed to have the surgery. It was weird because I had the surgery here in Chicago but I prefer to have offseason in Italy, so we were keeping in touch between the doctors in Italy and Chicago.

They did a good job though. I started the preseason and I was okay and everything has been good.

JC: Talk about the need for goalkeepers to be able to concentrate over the course of 90 minutes.

PT: Concentration is very important for a goalie. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes these come maybe because you’re not so focused or you have to rest for a lot of minutes and then suddenly you have to be ready. I think this is a thing with more games that you can be better every time.