MILAN - Paolo Tornaghi has made his MLS debut in front of 58,912 fans. The goalkeeper, a product of Inter's youth academy, was in the Chicago Fire starting line-up at the Olympic Stadium against hosts Montreal Impact - a team that, ironically, is a sort of colony for ex-Nerazzurri players, with Bernardo Corradi, Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas (who sat out the game with an injury). The match ended 1-1 and the 23-year-old from Garbagnate Milanese played a starring role.
Having come through Inter's goalkeeping school, with Luciano Castellini one of his instructors, Tornaghi returned to the fold in the summer of 2011 after gaining experience at Como and Rimini and with Italy youth teams (U16 to U20). He was Inter's fourth-choice keeper until January, always showing professionalism and passion in training and being pushed on by Paolo Orlandoni. He also featured in a number of games for Andrea Stramaccioni's Primavera side as one of the overage players. Then came the opportunity of a trial at Chicago Fire, and he decided to set off on a new adventure that offered a cultural challenge. After his contract with Inter was terminated amicably the transfer was made permanent.
Back in Appiano, Tornaghi's U.S adventure has been followed with great interest from day one. And he has received plenty of encouragement, especially from his former team-mates and trainers (Giorgio Pellizzaro and Piero Bosaglia).
Today everyone at Inter, from Claudio Ranieri to the players, technical director Marco Branca and sporting director Piero Ausilio, is happy to toast to a Nerazzurri debut in the MLS and a lad who has plenty more highs to come: "Go for it Paolo, keep it up."