“El Daxico” is upon us.
In early July, the Chicago Fire were supposed to play Nashville SC on the opening night of the MLS is Back tournament. Back then, we were looking at Nashville as a lowly expansion side where three points would be easy. But, because of Nashville’s COVID outbreak, the game never happened.
Tonight, the two teams will finally face off for the first time, and the Fire will get to see their former captain, Dax McCarty, wearing yellow. That lowly expansion side is now on a hot streak, and has already qualified for the playoffs. Meantime, the Fire will need to scrape and claw for every point they can, trying to hold on to the tenth and final playoff spot in the East.
“The game is super important to get a victory, get three points,” Fire defender Jonathan Bornstein said. “We have one game in hand also, but we can’t rely on that, knowing we can make up points and still have nine points available on the table, when most teams have six, we gotta take advantage of that.”
Fire defender Francisco Calvo will be allowed to play in the match, after an independent review panel rescinded the red card he received from referee Guido Gonzales in the 37th minute of the 2-1 loss against Philadelphia. The decision doesn’t change the fact that the red card (and subsequent failure to use VAR) very likely cost the Fire at least a point in the match, but it does at least mean the team’s captain will be available tonight, which is important. Essentially, every game is a playoff game from here on out.
“It’s a must win for us, so we’re gonna go with everything we got,” Bornstein said.
Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC
MLS Regular Season Match 21 | Saturday, October 31 | Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Streaming: ESPN+ (sign up using our link, and help support Hot Time! ESPN+ pregame starts at 7:15, 15 minutes earlier than WGN.)
Radio: TUDN 1200 AM
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown (from Ruben)
Chicago’s Remaining Schedule
- Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Minnesota United | 7 p.m. CT | WGN & ESPN+
- Sunday, Nov. 8 vs. New York City FC | 2:30 p.m. CT | WGN & ESPN+
Chicago Fire Injuries
- OUT: GK - Kenneth Kronholm (torn ACL, meniscus tear 8/11, out for season)
- OUT: M - Luka Stojanovic (MCL surgery 7/23)
Nashville SC Injuries
- OUT: D - Ken Tribbett (calf injury)
- OUT: M - David Accam (not medically cleared)
- OUT: F - Dominique Badji (not medically cleared)