If the Chicago Fire are going to make it to the knockout stage of the MLS is Back Tournament, they couldn’t have asked for a much better draw. The Fire will play in Group A, and will face expansion teams Inter Miami and Nashville SC, as well as NYCFC in the first three matches. Those three group stage matches will count toward the regular season standings.
The drawback is that Group A is the only six-team group. Only the top two teams are guaranteed to advance, with the top four third place finishers across the six groups also moving on. Philadelphia Union and Orlando City are also in Group A, but the Fire won’t play those teams.
Groups A, C, and E are all Eastern Conference groups, with B, D, and F making up teams from the Western Conference. It’s a safe bet MLS will want to keep Western teams from playing in the 9 a.m. ET kickoff slots, so the Fire will likely see at least one of those matches.
Here are the MLS is Back groups:
Group A : Orlando (A1), Inter Miami (A2), NYCFC (A3), Philadelphia Union (A4), Chicago Fire (A5), Nashville SC (A6)