Fire set to see old mates Busch, Ward

Brown downplays goalkeeping change ahead of San Jose match

Two former Fire players will square off against their former team on Wednesday night, including the man Chicago let go before the season in one of the most shocking personnel moves of the spring.

Goalkeeper Jon Busch is the man in question, dropped by the Fire just a week before the season began. He landed in San Jose, where he’ll be the man in net as the Earthquakes look to inch closer to a postseason berth with a result against the Fire at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Busch was replaced in net first by backup Andrew Dykstra, who midway through the season gave way to rookie Sean Johnson.

“I like Busch and we’re good friends,” Fire veteran C.J. Brown said. “You miss a guy like that. But I think Sean and Andrew have done well for us. The goals that we’re giving up aren’t Sean or Andrew’s fault.

"I think it was disappointing to lose [Busch] but I think Sean has developed and Andrew has developed also, so it’s a good opportunity for them.”

Busch said this week he holds no grudges against Chicago about the move, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s the Quakes on the verge of the postseason and the Fire needing points just to stay alive.

“I’m old enough to know that the only thing that matters is the result,” Busch said. “It doesn’t matter who it’s against. I think maybe when I was younger, especially the first time I went to Columbus, it was tough for me. But now, it just is what it is.

"It’s just another game and for us. If we get our three points, we’re one step closer to the playoffs, and that’s all we’re concerned about. There’s no old grudges.”

Former Fire defender Tim Ward will also suit up against his old teammates after he was traded to San Jose in early August for a 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick. Ward has started seven games this season for the Earthquakes.

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.