The next four days, I’ll take a look at where the team stands positionally heading into the 2012 MLS campaign. Today, we start with the goalkeepers…
Signed (2): Sean Johnson, Jay Nolly
Draftees (1): Carl Woszczynski
Trialists (2): Alec Kann, Paolo Tornaghi
The fact that there are three spots for goalkeepers and two of them are taken makes this write-up rather simple. At 22, Sean Johnson enters his third season in Chicago entrenched as the club’s number one after coming off a winter in which he was called in twice to the U.S. U23s, spent 10 days at English Premiership side Everton and the last month with the full U.S. Men’s National Team.
Johnson was rewarded for his long offseason, earning his second international cap in the United States’ 1-0 win at Panama last Wednesday. He’s been given the chance to take a rest and will join the team in phase two of their preseason on February 8 in Ventura, Calif.
With the chance that Johnson could be away for further camps, CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and the actual event (if they get there), the team acquired veteran goalkeeper Jay Nolly from the Vancouver Whitecaps in December. The Indiana University product has had stints with Real Salt Lake, DC United and most successfully the Cascadia club and will be looked at to fill the void for Johnson in the instances he’s away this season.
The most intriguing part of the goalkeeper side is the currently vacant third spot. The team currently has three unsigned netminders in camp with Supplemental Draft selection Carl Woszczynski. Joining the former UAB backstop in camp is undrafted keeper Alec Kann out of Furman and Inter Milan youth product Paolo Tornaghi.
With Nolly already signed, all three keepers got 30 minutes and had their moments in the team’s 0-0 draw vs. DC United on Sunday. It’ likely Kann will be best remembered for two diving saves in the third frame to preserve the shared clean sheet.
With Frank Klopas planning to play three different teams again Wednesday night, Nolly will not take part in the match as the Technical Staff makes judgments on the three unsigned keepers in camp.
Follow Wednesday night’s match vs. Florida Gulf Coast University LIVE on Twitter at our new feed dedicated solely for in-game updates, @ChiFireMatch beginning at 6:30pm CT/7:30pm ET.