Fire goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi getting more comfortable
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media July 10, 2013 10:43PM
Santos Laguna v Chicago Fire
Updated: July 10, 2013 11:41PM
Since Paolo Tornaghi took over as the Fire’s goalkeeper two weeks ago with Sean Johnson on international duty, he has stressed the importance of developing a rhythm.
During many of those games, though, Tornaghi went largely untested and wasn’t much of a factor.
But in a friendly Wednesday against Club América at Toyota Park, Tornaghi relished the opportunity to start, knowing the talented Mexican club would muster an offensive onslaught.
In the Fire’s 3-2 loss, Tornaghi made five saves, yielded a goal in the 25th minute (helped in part by a defensive gaffe) and allowed penalty-kick goals in the 62nd and 83rd minutes.
“It’s not easy coming in every
time after maybe a couple of months,’’ Tornaghi said. ‘‘But it’s much easier now that every three days we are playing.’’
In playing all 90 minutes, Tornaghi looked as confident as he has all season.
The Italian keeper had previously struggled when it came to some of his decision-making regarding balls in the box. In the Fire’s 2-1 loss Sunday to Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Park, Tornaghi looked indecisive as to when he should come off his line.
That was an emphasis in training this week, which seemed to pay off.
Tornaghi was aggressive against Club América, coming out to challenge shooters. That limited goal-scoring opportunities. The kind of athleticism Tornaghi showed will certainly be an asset in Major League Soccer play.
“I think he played with more confidence and stuff, and it was good to see,” Fire coach Frank Klopas said.
The Fire took the game’s first lead when Daniel Paladini chested down a Maicon Santos chip and volleyed it into the net in the 19th minute.
Striker Sherjill MacDonald scored his first goal of the season in second-half stoppage time.
MacDonald, the team’s highest-paid player, made comments on Tuesday about wanting to leave the club after having been benched during the last couple months
because of poor play.
Klopas was diplomatic in discussing the disgruntled striker, who entered the game as a substitute in the 63rd minute.
“I was happy for him, and I think everyone on the team was,” Klopas said. “He’s worked hard, and I think it’s good sometimes to get rewarded like that.”