There is no going back on that awful March moment, when the defense splintered badly and U.S. goalkeeper Sean Johnson fumbled away his country’s chances of going to the Summer Olympics.
Just like that, in the final minute of a wayward Olympic qualifying cause, fortunes changed mightily. The golden opportunities for young players would be going elsewhere. Poof! Just like that.
Johnson, to his credit, has never hidden from his share of the responsibility in that notorious Nashville night. He didn’t then and isn’t now. Johnson:
I told Brendan [Hannan, Chicago Fire media relations manager], ‘Listen, man. Don’t feel the need to turn media away. If they want to talk about it let’s talk about it. Get it out in the open. Get it off my chest. Better to talk about it than bottle it in.’ ”
Johnson, 23, is on the rise. He’s been hard to beat lately – and so have the Fire. Frank Klopas’ team is unbeaten in its last four (3-0-1). Johnson has been beaten just twice during that foursome of matches.
Sunday’s chance to stretch that unbeaten streak comes at home against the Galaxy, which will be without the suspended David Beckham for Sunday’s ESPN contest.