BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Chicago Fire midfielder John Thorrington made his long-awaited season debut Saturday night, going the full 90 and scoring a goal in the Fire’s 2-1 loss at the Seattle Sounders.
It was an incredibly arduous road back for Thorrington, who strained his left quad in preseason training. The fierce midfielder originally hoped to play in the Fire’s April 10 home opener against San Jose, but suffered multiple setbacks in rehab that significantly delayed his return until Saturday.
“I was obviously just grateful to be out there,” Thorrington told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s obviously been a long and frustrating road but I’m grateful to God and my team for putting faith in me to throw me out there.”
In the match, Thorrington looked fit, exhibited decent touch on the ball and was solid defensively against the Sounders. All in all, it was a solid performance for a player who was participating in his first competitive match since last November.
“I thought I did fine,” Thorrington said. “Obviously there are things that I know will only come with time but ... I actually felt stronger in the second half when I was running on adrenaline. And the good news is my quad felt fine.”
Thorrington put the Fire ahead in the 28th minute when he buried a penalty kick into the top right corner. The 30-year-old former US international said he was thrilled to score but ultimately disappointed with the final result—which dropped the Fire five points behind San Jose for the eighth and final playoff spot.
“It felt great to get a goal, but unfortunately it counts for nothing,” Thorrington said. “I would much rather not score and get the result than what happened tonight.
"I think in a few days, I’ll be able to take stock and just start analyzing my performance and just take a step back and realize how great it was just to be out there. But as of right now all I can really think about is that we lost, which certainly is so disappointing.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.