Can the Fire establish that they're not truly a cellar-dwelling side today? Or will Toronto's pricy stars send CF97 back to the drawing board? Previews for today's game can be had from us (preview, Q&A, tactical), from Chicago Fire Confidential, from the Daily Herald, and from mlssoccer.com. Our SB Nation sibling Waking the Red provides a view of this game from the north here, here, here and here.
The Fire's video team produced a video preview - get your multimedia on:
The game is the second consecutive home game for the Fire; plenty of tickets are still available, some at knockdown prices. If you'd like the best experience (if not the best view), Section 8 is still selling tickets, too.
Kickoff is scheduled for shortly after 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on CSN Chicago and streamed from their site as well as MLS Live. The game will also be carried on Eurosport 2 in some European markets.
Toronto are missing two probable starters at centerback, Steven Caldwell and Damien Perquis. They'll also be without English striker Luke Moore, who was suspended by the Disciplinary Committee for a bad tackle.
Chicago will play without keeper Sean Johnson today. Johnson suffered an eye injury in practice this week, and will be deputized by Jon Busch. It should be said that, after Johnson's rather shaky form in the early season, Busch is not likely to be much of a downgrade, if any. Long-term rehabbers Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko are still unavailable, and will be for 6-8 more weeks.
Those aside, the Fire's injury list is finally starting to thin. David Accam's hamstring woes seem to be behind him. Razvan Cocis won't play today, but his return to practice is encouraging. Even new addition Víctor Pérez seems to be fitter than expected. For perhaps the first time this season, Frank Yallop's lineup will be the product of his roster building, not the caprice of injuries.
As always, we will post starters here in the comments as soon as they're announced. If you're at Toyota Park, let us know about the atmosphere - how's the Malört? How's the weather? We'll keep it real, as always. Dalé Fire!