Johnson returns to Chicago after crushing Olympic exit

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire coach Frank Klopas said he’d have to talk to goalkeeper Sean Johnson before determining whether he’ll be ready to play in Sunday’s game against Colorado.

Johnson will return to the club on Wednesday after a disappointing group-stage exit from the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.

“Right now, I want to wait and see how Sean is tomorrow and we’ll go from there,” Klopas told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “Sean is an excellent goalkeeper.”

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Johnson allowed the injury-time goal that sealed the United States’ fate when Jaime Alas’ shot took a bounce in front of the six-yard box and Johnson was only able to get a fingertip to the ball, which span up and bounced into the goal. The goal gave El Salvador a last-gasp 3-3 draw and eliminated the Americans in the process.

Fire midfielder Logan Pause was a part of the 2004 United States team that failed to qualify for the Olympics. The Fire captain said he texted Johnson words of encouragement after the game.

“It hurts, but I’m sure he’ll use it as fuel to get better as a player and a person,” Pause said. “That one play, that wasn’t the play that didn’t get them in, that didn’t allow them to advance. I think it went deeper than that. You lose to Canada and tie El Salvador, I think they were up, I think they had chances to kill the game off.”

When Johnson comes back, he’ll be walking into a goalkeeper competition with Paolo Tornaghi. The 23-year-old Italian has allowed just one goal in his two games as a starter.

“At the end of the day, there’s competition,” Fire goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde told MLSsoccer.com. “No one in this football club doubts [Johnson’s] abilities and everyone here is right behind him from that perspective. If he’s in it this weekend, everybody believes that he can get the job done.”

HIGHLIGHTS: USA vs El Salvador