Fire may send Johnson to train with Manchester United

Sean Johnson

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Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson may get a huge helping hand this winter in preparing for the 2012 season by spending a few days training at Manchester United.

Fire goalkeeping coach Aron Hyde told MLSsoccer.com over the phone on Monday that the Fire are trying to work out a deal that would send the 22-year-old Johnson to train with the Red Devils sometime during the Premier League’s busy Christmas period.

“It would be a really good experience for him if we can get it all set up properly," Hyde said. "Being around those guys and being involved will be good for him. It would boost his confidence.”

Johnson made 28 starts in 2011, his first full season as Chicago’s starter. The second-year 'keeper performed reasonably well, posting seven shutouts and making 76 saves.

Hyde said that he’s working with his good friend, Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, to try and arrange for Johnson to train at Old Trafford this winter. Hyde also said that he’s trying to arrange for Johnson to train at a few other EPL teams during the offseason.

“We’re trying to set it up where we’re trying to get him somewhere else as well, another Premier League team,” Hyde said. “It should be a nice environment because those guys are flying and they’re in the middle of their season and getting ready for the Christmas period which is obviously the busiest period of the year in England. It’ll be good experience for him.”

Johnson should have a busy offseason regardless of whether or not he trains with the defending Premier League champions. He’ll likely go on the Generation Adidas trip to Europe for a second straight year, and a second consecutive call-up to the January US national team camp is not out of the question, either.

“Hopefully it all works out,” Hyde said.

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com