5 THINGS: Sean Johnson set to climb the ladder on Sunday

Here are five things you should know before heading out to Sunday's match vs. the LA Galaxy at Toyota Park (3pm CT on My50/Time Warner Sports WI)

Fire Injury Report

Might as well get this out of the way… Patrick Nyarko is officially listed out with a knee strain but because of it, went under the knife this week to have bone spurs removed from his ankle. The timing of the procedure coincides well with the World Cup break, meaning Nyarko will miss the three matches this week as well as the June 18 and potential June 25 U.S. Open Cup match.

Listed as questionable are Mike Magee (calf strain), Logan Pause (hamstring tightness) and Alex (hamstring strain). Fire head coach Frank Yallop mentioned earlier this week that all three players were doubtful for Sunday’s game.

In good news, Lovel Palmer seems set to return from the kidney stones that ailed him last week why Bakary Soumare also trained in full this week after missing the last three matches with a calf strain and migraines.

Record vs. LA Galaxy

The Fire hold losing records against only two of the original nine remaining MLS clubs. One of them is FC Dallas (13-20-4) and the other is the LA Galaxy (15-19-4).

Of late, that record has tipped LA’s way as the Fire haven’t beaten the Galaxy since a 3-2 victory on August 1, 2010 at The Home Depot – now StubHub Center (the team is 0-4-1 since). The game may best be remembered for the Fire running out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Marco Pappa, Collins John and Mike Banner, or for the debut of rookie, 21-year-old goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

The Fire starter just turned 25 on Saturday. Happy birthday Sean!

Johnson and Segares Milestones

Here’s a birthday gift for Sean Johnson: With an appearance today he’ll tie Marco Pappa for 14th on the club’s MLS appearance list as well as move past Piotr Nowak for 13th on the club’s MLS starts list (112 GP/GS).

As mentioned earlier in the week, should Fire defender Gonzalo Segares play in Sunday’s match, he would tie former teammate and Fire captain Chris Armas at fourth on the club’s all-time MLS appearances list with 214 games played.

An appearance would also put Segares one game behind third-place Zach Thornton with two more games to play before the World Cup break.  

Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane

Landon Donovan finally scored his first (and second) goals of the season last week to break the all-time MLS goal scoring record held by Jeff Cunningham. Landon’s inability to get off the goat this season may have played some role in the legendary American attacker being left out of the U.S. World Cup team but his achievement is still impressive when considering two factors: he would have been there much sooner if not for missing time for three FIFA World Cups as well as multiple CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments, World Cup qualifying matches and the odd friendly back in the day.

Secondly, Donovan (311 GP) broke the record in 49 less matches than did Cunningham (360 GP).

Beyond all that, a look at Landon’s stat line reinforces that statistically he’s the best player MLS has ever had, being involved in 256 goals in those 311 games played for LA and the San Jose Earthquakes since 2001. Add to the mix Robbie Keane’s 41 goals and 24 assists or being involved in 65 goals in 65 games played and the two combined are a daunting tandem for any team to face.

Combined against the Fire, Keane and Donovan have 11 goals, eight assists in 22 matches.

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