In the late winter of 2010, former Chicago Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos saw a flaw in the Fire defensive setup: Jon Busch, 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the guy who held together a disconnected defense all the way to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals - in Spanish, he thought, "Maaaan, that dude is, like, short or something. He's gotta go."
"It's all cool, bro," he'd've said, if he spoke dudebro. "Andrew Dykstra is, like, the man."
Turns out Dykstra wasn't the man. The third-string keeper, drafted in the later rounds, was a kid named Sean Johnson. Johnson leapt into the space vacated by Dykstra's shrinking (which, granted, was nearly a Dykstra-shaped hole; he'd shrunk nearly completely) and claimed the starter spot with the Fire. Ah, the memories: Andrew Dykstra six inches tall; my teeth, suffering from the gnashing; SeanJohn, the kid, bursting into frame.
Just a bit less than five years later, that kid's on the verge of playing a part in the USA's upcoming Gold Cup squad, and the Fire need a starter-level backup, in case he's gone for six weeks for the Copa Oro. Enter one (as Univision would have it) ZzzzzzhhhhonBooooosh!, back in the Midwest after a lengthy enforced sojourn on the west coast.
If his career tendencies are carried forward, Busch, 38, will provide a consistent challenge to Johnson for the top spot in the nets. Those whose fandom is of more recent vintage may find the following highlight reel instructive: