BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — What's old is new again in goal for the Chicago Fire.
Fire starting goalkeeper Sean Johnson will miss this Friday’s match against the Columbus Crew due to an eye injury suffered in Tuesday’s training session. Andrew Dykstra, who started the Fire’s first 14 league games, will start in Johnson’s place.
Johnson’s official diagnosis is hyphema, an injury in which blood fills the interior chamber of the eye. The injury occurred when Johnson was hit in the right eye by a close range shot.
“After seeing the doctor, he made me aware this type of injury just takes a bit of rest,” Johnson told Chicago-Fire.com Wednesday morning. “We're just taking precautions to make sure there are no complications and I have a speedy recovery. If all goes well I should be back to training pretty soon. I’m just taking it in stride, just being patient and waiting for myself to heal."
Johnson has started every league game since Aug. 1 against the LA Galaxy and compiled a 1.33 goals-against average. But Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos said Wednesday that he’s confident Dykstra will perform well on Friday night.
“I trust in Andrew,” de los Cobos said. “He has the opportunity to play again and show his qualities. I think that he’s a good goalkeeper.”
Dykstra hasn't played a league match for Chicago since July 8, when he took a hard luck 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.
“I’ll be fine,” Dykstra said. “I’m more concerned about Sean and his eye. It’s such an unfortunate thing to happen. But I’m just taking this like it’s another game. Hopefully I have a long career ahead of me so this is just another opportunity to enjoy and perfect what I do on the field.”
Dykstra was the starting keeper during the Fire’s 2-1 loss on July 3 against the Crew.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.