Fire notes: Pappa, McBride to start against DC
A few lineup notes ahead of the Chicago Fire’s Saturday match against D.C. United:
Johnson still out; Dykstra to make third straight start
Though he returned to training on Friday, starting goalkeeper Sean Johnson (hyphema) will not be available for Saturday’s home finale. The rookie keeper missed Chicago’s last two matches after suffering an injury in training on Oct. 5.
Andrew Dykstra will start in Johnson’s place for a third consecutive match. The second-year ‘keeper posted a shutout against the Columbus Crew last Friday and allowed two goals against the Kansas City Wizards on Tuesday.
Fire assistant coach Mike Matkovich told MLSsoccer.com over the phone Friday that Johnson will continue full training when the Fire return to practice on Tuesday. He should be available to play in next weekend’s season finale at Chivas USA.
McBride to start final home match
Retiring forward Brian McBride will start in his Toyota Park finale on Saturday. Matkovich told MLSsoccer.com that the 38-year-old striker will likely pair with Designated Player Freddie Ljungberg up top.
“At some point we’ll probably try and sub him off so the fans can show their appreciation,” Matkovich said.
The Fire will recognize McBride’s achievements during pregame, halftime, and postgame ceremonies. The festivities will include video well-wishes from notable players and coaches, a video interview with McBride, as well as a video tribute to the three-time World Cup vet’s 17-year career.
McBride will personally address fans from midfield after the game.
Pappa returns from international duty
Guatemalan winger Marco Pappa returned from international duty on Thursday and will be available for Saturday’s match. The 22-year-old winger started in Guatemala’s 2-0 loss to Honduras at the L.A. Coliseum Tuesday night.
Matkovich said that Pappa is “probably going to start for us.”
Segares questionable, Kinney and Thorrington available
Though not listed on the injury report, Fire left back Gonzalo Segares (quad) is questionable for Saturday’s match.
“We’re going to have to kind of wait on him,” Matkovich said. “I’ll be honest; I’d be surprised if he can go. He tried to push it a little bit last week and took a step back so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. I wouldn’t bet on [him being available] though.”
Krzysztof Krol, who has started the Fire’s last three matches in Segares’s place, should get the nod if Segares is unavailable.
Things are looking better on the other side of the backline, as right back Steven Kinney – who missed Tuesday’s match with an ankle injury – will be ready to play.
Midfielder John Thorrington, who has missed the Fire’s last three games with a quad injury, will also be available.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.