After yesterday's scrimmage against Orlando City SC, Frank Yallop said that he was looking to play his starters for about 60 minutes, and he did just that. The same group of guys who started against D.C. on Saturday (with the exception of Lovel Palmer starting over Marco Franco) started again this morning and played for 61 minutes before the entire roster got subbed out (minus Sean Johnson, who went the full 90). Yallop played 21 players in total during the game.
Sean Johnson made a couple of big save and looks sharp. Over the past few years in his young career, Johnson has generally been recognized to be a young, promising goalkeeper who is a really talented shot stopper but flawed in other areas. Johnson's quality as a goalkeeper has also been marred by a porous defense that has not done him a whole lot of favors over the last two seasons. We all know how good Johnson is, but the rest of the league doesn't seem to recognize. Could this season be Johnson's breakout year? If he plays like this through the season, I think so. He might finally shut some of his critics up.
The Fire are returning to Chicago today and will get the next two days off before heading out to Arizona on Saturday for the Desert Diamond Cup. The Fire will take on the Rapids in the first leg of the preseason tournament on Wednesday, February 19.