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FIRE v Vancouver, 4:30 p.m.; gamethread, lineups, how to watch

Can Chicago's remade offense finally get out of first gear? And can CF97's defense maintain its calm against a potentially devastating Whitecaps attack?


Let's get some housekeeping out of the way: Tonight's match - the final game of the preseason Simple Invitational - is available essentially everywhere, and almost for free. Anyone with an internet connection can fire up a free stream from either or; those fortunate enough to be in Greater Chicago can make their way to the Globe Pub (1934 E. Irving Park Road) to watch in the company of others from the mighty horde known as Section 8.

The Fire are completing their preseason camp with tonight's dress rehearsal, and have several questions left unanswered. Vancouver, as I mentioned in my preview, will present interesting challenges to the Men in Red: When playing well, there are few teams in MLS which combine the creativity of players like Pedro Morales and Mauro Rosales with the raw pace and finishing capability of Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh. And it's not like Russell Tiebert is a one-legged fool, or Erik Hurtado a hopeless hoofer. There's depth in quality in the attacking positions to a surprising degree for a team that's never won anything.

So how will Chicago line up to meet this challenge? Will we see a return to the 4-2-3-1 shape that grew stronger as the game went on against Stabaek? The double pivot would spread around responsibility for minding Morales, who pulls the strings for the most successful of the Whitecaps' moves. Or will we see the 4-3-3 that Frank Yallop has talked about, with someone (Chris Ritter? Matt Polster? Razvan Cocis?) taking that No. 6 role all alone?

Who would you start? How would you play? Who on Vancouver's squad worries you? Who do you think could be exploited? Are there tactical advantages within easy reach? Where are the Fire's weak spots, and how would you cover for them? You can hit us up with answers, thoughts or further questions on Twitter at @HotTimeOldTown, or respond with MORE THAN 140 CHARACTERS (?!) in the comments below.

Lineups should be available any moment now. We will post them as soon as they are!