The Chicago Fire will now open the MLS is Back Tournament on Tuesday, July 14 against the Seattle Sounders (8 a.m. CT, ESPN). As expected, the Fire are moving to Group B, after both Nashville SC and FC Dallas had to withdraw from the tournament because of positive COVID-19 cases.
The move was first reported by The Athletic this morning.
The Fire will also play the San Jose Earthquakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps in the group stage matches. The tournament now has six groups with four teams each. The top two finishers from each group will advance to the knockout rounds, followed by the four best third place teams.
The Fire have already played Seattle once this season, losing a close match 2-1 off a late goal by Jordan Morris. Robert Berić was the Fire’s goal scorer that day. Since then, the Fire have added a number of new, key players, including Gastón Gimênez, Ignacio Aliseda, Boris Sekulić and Luka Stojanović.
Following the tournament, both Chicago and Nashville will remain in the Eastern Conference, if there is a 2020 regular season. These matches will still count toward the regular season standings.
The new match schedule for Chicago Fire FC in Group B is as follows:
July 14 - Chicago Fire FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8:00 a.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN Deportes)
July 19 - Chicago Fire FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:00 p.m. CT (FS1/TUDN)
July 23 - Chicago Fire FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:00 a.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN Deportes)
The Fire’s “Drive-In Matchday, presented by Continental Tire” will be held for the match versus the San Jose Earthquakes on July 19 at 7:00 p.m. CT on the Waldron Parking Deck at Soldier Field. Parking lots will open at 5:30 p.m. CT.