Preseason: FIRE v Colorado, 4:30 p.m. CST, LIVE STREAM

Today's friendly should feature minutes for hopefuls like Marco Franco (L) and Yazid Atouba. - courtesy Chicago Fire

Yallop declares that today is the final preseason friendly which will be devoted largely to fringe players; expect to see starting XI beginning with Saturday's scrimmage

It's fish-or-cut-bait time in the Chicago Fire's preseason preparations - last week's departure from Florida brought with it some cuts, and more are coming. What's more, Fire head coach Frank Yallop has indicated that today's friendly against Colorado, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. CST (link below), is the final preseason outing which will feature primarily fringe players, as players pushing for the gameday 18 will take the lion's share of the minutes going forward.

All of which means that the pressure is on. Today's the last day to make an impression; careers could be made or unmade by bedtime tonight. Should be interesting.

The Fire are unbeaten and unscored-upon in 2014; feel free to ask the 2013 edition of DC United how important a good preseason record is, though. Here's a few things I'll be looking for today:

  • Who's the second target striker? Is Giuseppe Gentile giving Quincy Amarikwa a run for playing time?
  • What's the rotation in midfield look like? Is Benji Joya breathing down Alex's neck for a starting spot? Is Victor Pineda now at loose ends, with Joya and Harrison Shipp apparently moving ahead of him in the pecking order?
  • How's Kyle Reynish looking, since he's probably going to start for the club for a month or so?
  • How's Austin Berry look? Berry has consistently played with the second team this preseason as he rehabs from off-season shoulder surgery.

I will treat this thread as the live gamethread for this friendly; look for lineups about an hour prior to kickoff. As always, please let us know what you're seeing - everyone's voice matters. See you in the comment section!

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