Chicago Fire FC No. 1 goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm suffers torn ACL, Raphael Wicky reveals

Fire FC goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm makes save at NE

UPDATE (Aug. 11): The Fire on Tuesday confirmed that Kronholm underwent successful surgery on his right knee to reconstruct his ACL and repair meniscus tears. The club also confirmed he will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

When Chicago Fire FC resume the MLS season on Aug. 20 against Columbus Crew SC, they’ll do so with a new No. 1 goalkeeper.

Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky revealed veteran Kenneth Kronholm suffered a torn ACL in training last week and will undergo surgery on Tuesday, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.

“Kenny is still under contract and he’s a really good goalkeeper with a lot of experience and he will come back stronger,” Wicky said in a conference call with reporters. “That’s also the goal he set for himself directly after having the injury. On the same day he told me. He was very touched and emotional, but he’s going to come back stronger.”

Kronholm transferred from Holstein Kiel in Germany on May 7, 2019. He assumed the role of No. 1 goalkeeper later that month. The 34-year-old finished his first season with the Fire strong, with five clean sheets, the fewest goals allowed per game (0.9) and the second-highest save percentage (79.55%) from July 27 to Oct. 6.

Kronholm, who made seven saves and conceded eight goals in five matches in 2020, is under contract through 2021 with a club option for 2022.

So where do the Fire go from here? Wicky said the ”hierarchy right now is quite clear.”

Bobby [Shuttleworth] is our No. 1, Connor [Sparrow] is No. 2 and Gaba [Gabriel Slonina] is No. 3,” he said. “I’m happy with all three goalkeepers. I trust all three and we go from there.”

Shuttleworth is in his 12th season as an MLS goalkeeper, previously serving as a regular starter with the New England Revolution for four years, backstopping them in an MLS Cup appearance against the LA Galaxy, and for two additional seasons with Minnesota United. He signed with Chicago in January.

The fourth goalkeeper on the Fire’s depth chart is Chris Brady, who is on loan with Forward Madison in USL League One.

“I think on the goalie position we’re quite well,” Wicky said. “I feel very confident with those goalies for now and for the future with our young goalkeepers who are very, very talented.”