[MLS] Jon Busch became the second former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and 2009 ironman to be released in recent months when the Chicago Fire waived him five days before its opener at New York. Busch's departure leaves 24-year-old Andy Dykstra, who has never played a game, as its starting goalie, though there is speculation that new Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos would like to sign Miguel Montes, his goalie on the Salvadoran national team.
Busch, who was the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and played every minute for Chicago in 2009, admitted he was stunned by the news that he was being dropped.
"Everything was going great," Busch told ESPN Chicago. "I had a good seven weeks of preseason, Carlos was saying how well I was playing and how sharp I looked, telling me how I was their No. 1 goalkeeper. I played four games during the preseason, three clean sheets. I had one of my best preseasons in my 14-year career."
Busch was the eighth highest paid goalie in MLS in 2009 with guaranteed compensation of $136,350. He played every minute in goal, like Kevin Hartman, the 1999 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year with Los Angeles, did at Kansas City in 2009.
Hartman didn't have his contract picked up by Kansas City but recently landed at FC Dallas.
Dykstra's only start for the Fire in 2009 came in a U.S. Open Cup game.
Montes, 30, was outstanding Sunday for Aguila in its 0-0 tie at the Los Angeles Galaxy. He will be familiar to U.S. fans as El Salvador's starting goalie in both 2009 Hexagonal matches against the USA.
He was injured and went off late in the first game in San Salvador, where the USA rallied from 2-0 down to tie the Salvadorans, 2-2. In the return match, De los Cobos complained to the referee that too much stoppage time was added on at the end of the first half during which Jozy Altidore scored what proved to be the winning goal, but Montes had gone down earlier in the half, delaying the game for several minutes.
Montes was recently suspended from the national team for a year by the Salvadoran federation in a dispute over the gloves and socks he wore.
If Montes is signed to replace Busch, that would mean both Busch and Hartman lost their jobs to foreigners. Dane Jimmy Nielsen has placed Hartman at Kansas City.
The only other foreigners expected to start in goal in 2010 are Canadian Pat Onstad (Houston), Jamaican Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles), Swiss national Stefan Frei (Toronto) and Senegalese Bouna Coundoul (New York)