Tonight's game represents the beginning of the final ten MLS Regular Season games for the Chicago Fire. The opponents in this stretch range from the bottom to the top so it will be a good test and preview for a what looks to be a core coming together. Cory Gibbs is off Friday's MLS Injury Report so Klopas has to decide between starting Jalil Anibaba and Yamith Cuesta again or benching one of them in favor of Gibbs. With the U.S. Open Cup a week and a half away, I'm guessing he'll go with the Gibbs/Cuesta tandem. It's easy to forget that under Frank Klopas, the Fire only gave up 6 goals in 9 games when Gibbs and Cuesta were starting together at center back.
More on TFC and yours and ours in game comments after the break.
In Toronto FC, Chicago is getting an opponent that is feeling more confident than their league worst -21 goal differential would suggest. Toronto FC is in the CONCACAF Champions League as the Canadian Champion and they have been rocking the last couple of weeks. They defeated Real Esteli F.C. twice and Tauro F.C. once, each game having a score of 2-1. They also tied the Portland Timbers 2-2, tied D.C. United 3-3, and upset Real Salt Lake 1-0 in their most recent MLS action to give them a 4-0-2 record across all competitions. Summer signing and designated player Danny Koevermans has 3 goals in 5 games and fellow summer signing and designated player Torsten Frings has been playing every game since his signing in the midfield. Joao Plata, the Ecuadorian who had a goal and an assist when Chicago played Toronto earlier in the season, remains a threat and actually broke his scoring drought dating back to the Chicago game with a goal against Real Salt Lake.
Toronto might be feeling pretty confident but still have a lot of parts in the air. They are also coming off a Thursday game in Panama City and haven't won a game on the road in MLS Regular Season play in 13 attempts. Chicago is a correct offsides call away from winning their own past Thursday game. I'm going bold in the prediction: Chicago Fire 2 - Toronto FC 0.