The Fire are back on the Chicago lakefront tonight, hosting D.C. United at Soldier Field (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+). D.C., which is currently the worst team in MLS on 11 points, figures to be a good opportunity for the Fire to pick up three points, and climb back into a playoff spot. But with Chad Ashton in charge after Ben Olsen was fired this week, the Fire know they could be facing a team getting a “new manager bounce.”
“I think anytime a team makes a coaching change, a player’s gonna want to make a good first impression with the new manager, and try to work themselves into a starting position,” Bobby Shuttleworth said in a video released by the Fire. “I think with D.C., they were always a hardworking team, and I think that’s what we can expect, a team that’s going to be difficult to break down.”
The Fire are currently 12th with 16 points, A win could put them as high as 9th, depending on how other results fall. The top ten teams in the Eastern Conference make the post-season, so with this a home match against a struggling opponent, getting three points is vital if the Fire are serious about grabbing a playoff spot.
- The Fire are scheduled to face Minnesota United on Wednesday, but that match could be in jeopardy. The Loons had two players test positive for COVID-19, so their scheduled match with FC Dallas today has been postponed.
- Gastón Giménez and Miguel Navarro are both still away from the Fire on international duty. Giménez played 81 minutes for Paraguay in a 2-2 draw with Peru on Thursday, and Navarro didn’t make the bench for Venezuela’s match with Colombia on Friday. With the two players potentially set to face each other this week, Alex Campbell looked at all the other times Fire teammates have faced off in an international match.
- Will Fabi do it again? Fabian Herbers has goals in four of the Fire’s five matches at Soldier Field this season. In the only match where he didn’t score, he recorded an assist. Hot Time recently posted an in-depth interview with Herbers, who explained how his childhood in Germany, where his parents owned a bar, prepared him for his playing career in MLS.
MLS Regular Season Match #17 | Soldier Field, Chicago
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
Streaming: ESPN+ (sign up using our link, and help support Hot Time!)
Radio: TUDN 1200AM
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown (from Ruben)
Chicago Fire Injuries
- OUT: GK - Kenneth Kronholm (torn ACL, meniscus tear 8/11, out for season)
- OUT: M - Luka Stojanovic (MCL surgery 7/23)
- OUT: M - Jeremiah Gutjahr (knee injury)
D.C. United Injuries
- OUT: M - Paul Arriola (ACL surgery 2/24, out 9 months)
- OUT: M - Edison Flores (eye injury)
- OUT: M - Felipe (ACL surgery 9/4, out for season)
- OUT: M - Mohammed Abu (knee injury)
- OUT: M - Ulises Segura (not medically cleared)
- OUT: M - Kevin Paredes (not medically cleared)
- OUT: D - Steve Birnbaum (not medically cleared)