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Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City - MLS #17 - Gamethread - 2:00 PM CST - ESPN

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The time is upon us. This is one of my favorite games of the year as little brother heads to Toyota Park going in the opposite direction of the Fire

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

The Men in Red are an inferno right now. SKC, not so much? The team from 2 different states has been struggling mightily as of late, and their defense has not been good. While the Fire also have a similarly shaky back line, the midfield and forward corps have more than compensated for this. And I don't expect anything less again today at home. While Patrick Nyarko's status is still up in the air, enough players are stepping up that they can fill the void if he can't go.

Mike Magee will look to continue his run of stellar form. Although he did not score against San Jose, he set up the game winning goal courtesy of the foot of Chris Rolfe with a sublime passes that sliced up the SJ defense. Dilly Duka has gone into beast mode, creating dangerous chances and threatening to score multiple times per game.

As I called in my Fireside Chat, I am going with a 2-1 Fire victory today. Depending on how results go today, a Fire win would put them even on points with the Revs in the 6th spot in the East (24 points). While still 2 points below a playoff spot, the team would certainly still be in good shape. With 2 games in hand on SKC and Houston, Chicago will continue to climb up the standings if this form holds up.

We invite you to join us today during the game. Lineups will be posted before kickoff. Let's go Fire!