Yes, the Chicago Fire are playing at 8 a.m. CT. No, they’re not in Europe. It’s actually the Fire’s first match of the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex outside Orlando, FL, and the league is scheduling an early morning game every day to beat the Florida summer heat. The match will mark the first time Chicago has played since the coronavirus shutdown in March.
The Fire were supposed to start this tournament last week against Nashville SC, but because both Nashville and FC Dallas had to drop out with coronavirus issues, the Fire switched groups—and schedules—at the last minute.
These two teams have already played once this season. The Sounders won 2-1 in the season opener in Seattle off two Jordan Morris goals. Forward Robert Berić scored the Fire’s lone goal in that one. This time out, the Fire roster will include several new, key faces, including Gastón Giménez, Ignacio Aliseda, Boris Sekulić, and Luka Stojanović.
“We will have to be ready. It’s a tough game in front of us,” Berić said after Monday’s training session.
Chicago Fire vs. Seattle Sounders
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
MLS is Back Tournament Match 1 | ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL
Kickoff: 8 a.m. CT
TV: ESPN & ESPN Deportes
Radio: TUDN 1200AM
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown (from Ruben)
Next Up: MLS is Back Tournament Match 2: Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes | Sunday, July 19, 7 p.m. CT | ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL. | TV: FS1, TUDN, Radio: TUDN 1200AM
How does this tournament work?
Each team plays three group stage matches, which will count toward the 2020 regular season, should one happen. The top two teams from each of the six groups advance to the knockout rounds, plus the four best third place teams. The winner gets a birth in the Concacaf Champions League.
MLS isn’t requiring teams to put out injury reports for this tournament. We can tell you defender Johan Kappelhof and midfielder Micheal Azira both missed the trip to Orlando with injuries.
We’ll share when they’re posted but the Fire will probably line up something like this:
Kronholm; Bornstein, Calvo, Pineda, Sekulić; Giménez, Medran, Stojanovič; Aliseda, Berić, Frankowski