Paolo Tornaghi on stepping into goal for Sean Johnson: "Now is my moment"

With Johnson gone on Gold Cup duty, Tornaghi recognizes opportunity in Fire net

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s recall to the U.S. Men’s National Team for this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup had been long-expected by the Fire this season and like he’s always done, Paolo Tornaghi has waited in the wings.

“I’m excited of course, now it’s my moment,” Tornaghi told Chicago-Fire.com Monday. “I will have some games in a row to play. I’m ready to do that.”

Tornaghi of course had his proverbial feet put to the fire, making his club debut in the 2012 opener at Montreal, playing heroically in a 1-1 draw in front of nearly 60,000 at Olympic Stadium.

It’s that experience that Frank Klopas mentioned as he

HIGHLIGHTS: Impact vs. Fire (3/17/12)

backed the Inter Milan youth product Monday.

“Paolo’s good, he’s ready to go,” said Klopas. “[There are] no issues with Paolo He’s been in moments like this before, he’s stepped in last year when we had to play Montreal. He’s ready to go, he’s an experienced young guy and we have all the confidence in him.”

Tornaghi appeared in four competitive matches in 2012 and has twice been called into action when Johnson was away for U.S. World Cup qualifying duty this year.

Most recently, Tornaghi stood tall in the Fire net, making three saves in the team's 2-0 U.S. Open Cup third round win at Charlotte on May 29.

His one MLS match between the sticks this season yielded a 4-1 Fire loss to Chivas USA on March 24 -- a day where no one from the Men in Red covered themselves in glory.

“Of course it’s three months ago and its not on my mind,” said Tornaghi. “You analyze every game afterwards and whether its positive or negative, you leave in the past. You have to think about the future, I don’t think about the game.”

Tornaghi has stayed sharp by appearing in six reserve matches this season and played admirably, making three point blank saves in the team’s 2-1 defeat Saturday night to the Charlotte Eagles.

“These kind of games, I think as a goalie the timing of the games helps. You stay focused all the 90 minutes and its positive to play reserve games. I was lucky, I played just two days ago so I’ll be ready for Wednesday.”

The Fire welcome the San Jose Earthquakes to Toyota Park on Wednesday night and know they’ll be facing a side reeling from two stoppage time goals to defeat the LA Galaxy 3-2 at the weekend.

While the Fire will be without Sean Johnson for most of the month of July, San Jose is harder hit by the Gold Cup bug as Chris Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson (USA), Marvin Chavez (Honduras) and Nana Attakora (Canada) have all been called up for the CONCACAF regional championship.

Still, coming of a dramatic 3-2 win over the two-time defending MLS Cup champions, Tornaghi knows Wednesday will be the first of many tests over the next month.

“San Jose is a very good and dangerous team. We analyzed the situation and they have big guys at forward. They’re going to play very direct – putting a lot of crosses into the box. We’re going to be ready for that.”