BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- As he’s become accustomed to over much of the last year, Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was recalled to the U.S. Men’s National Team Thursday by Jurgen Klinsmann to take part in the first stage of the side’s summer camp from May 26-30 in Cleveland, Ohio.
“It’s exciting times this summer,” Johnson told Chicago-Fire.com Thursday. “With all the friendlies, qualifiers and Gold Cup coming up, to be part of the team again is great.
“I want to keep working hard, especially here in Chicago to make myself the best I can be so when I go in to camp, I can help our national team get a result.”
Johnson will one of six 'keepers to rotate in and out of the team's summer camp and will be part of the squad for the team’s friendly against Belgium on May 28, meaning he’ll miss the Fire’s third round U.S. Open Cup match on the same night.
"We have some excellent backup keepers starting with Nick Rimando, who’s playing an outstanding season for Real Salt Lake and has done great with us every time he’s come into our program," said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
"We’re also excited about the goalkeepers who come after him: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson and Tally Hall. It’s exciting that we can rotate them a bit in these upcoming couple of weeks because we don’t want the MLS goalies to miss too many of their games.”
The Men in Red were drawn against the winner of the Charlotte Eagles / Seattle Sounders U-23 match which will be played next Tuesday in Charlotte.
“I’m disappointed to miss the Open Cup game,” he said. "Obviously it’s important here with the club’s history of success in the tournament.
“That said, I think we have enough depth in the team with Paolo [Tornaghi] and Alec [Kann] who are both capable of stepping in and getting a job done for us.
“I think we’ll be just fine where that’s concerned. I have no doubt that we’ll get a result against whatever team we come up against in the third round.”
Though he’ll miss the Open Cup match, Johnson won’t miss any MLS action as he’ll fly directly to Cleveland following the team’s game at Real Salt Lake next Saturday and return in time for the Fire’s home match against D.C. United on June 2.
With Johnson unlikely to be part of the team’s June qualifying matches at Jamaica (June 7) and home vs. Panama (June 11) and Honduras (June 18), the five days in Cleveland could be his best opportunity to ensure a spot in the U.S. squad for July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Johnson won’t get ahead of himself though.
“I try not to think too far ahead. You train hard, you play hard and things will fall into place as they may. I’m keeping focused at the task at hand – that’s the Belgium game.
“Whatever happens after that will take care of itself.”