For the second time in eight days, the Chicago Fire take on FC Cincinnati. Last time, it was a 3-0 Fire win in the first match at Soldier Field in 15 years. This time, the Fire visit Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, which means artificial turf.
At Soldier Field, the Fire cracked Cincinnati’s 5-3-2 low block quickly, with goals from Fabian Herbers and Álvaro Medrán in the first ten minutes. Herbers said the team wants to score another early goal, but if they can’t, it’s about staying smart.
“I hope we can get that, but if not, it’s just about staying compact and not conceding an easy goal,” Herbers said. “I think our chances will come and when we capitalize on it, then yeah, we go into the game with a lead and it’s obviously easier for us.”
Fire head coach Raphael Wicky expects Cincy to stick with the defensive style.
“We’ve definitely seen them play in the last couple games where they stay in that 5-3-2,” Wicky said. “I think it’s probably going to be very similar, but they know us well, as well. So it’s going to be very tough, very competitive game, especially going in with their surface. That’s probably going to be an advantage, as well. So we are going to go in there and try to do the same thing we did last game, which is going and start strong and score goals.”
As usual, Wicky was very generous with updates on players during his weekly news conference. Here’s what we learned:
- After missing the NYCFC match, Bobby Shuttleworth trained the last couple days. Wicky will decide today whether he can start tonight in goal.
- CJ Sapong is back in Chicago, and is in quarantine. He should rejoin full team training in a week or so. CJ recently announced on Instagram his fiancée gave birth to a baby girl.
- Djordje Mihailović didn’t play against NYCFC because of an upset stomach. He should be ready to go tonight.
- Johan Kappelhof will need more time before he’s healthy and ready to play.
- Because of the pandemic, MLS made the decision that players could not leave on international duty, so Przemysław Frankowski wasn’t allowed to join Poland for upcoming UEFA Nations League matches. He’s still with the Fire.
- Álvaro Medrán’s shirt game is better than yours.
FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire FC
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
MLS Regular Season Match #9 | Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV: WGN-TV (local)
Streaming: ESPN+ (sign up using our link!)
Radio: TUDN AM 1200
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown (from Ruben)
Next Up: Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution | Sunday, Sept. 6 | Soldier Field, Chicago | 6:30 p.m. CT | WGN-TV & 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)
- OUT: D - Johan Kappelhof (hip flexor)
- OUT: M - Jeremiah Gutjahr (knee injury)
FC Cincinnati Injuries
- OUT: GK - Spencer Richey (concussion)
- OUT: M - Jimmy McLaughlin (ankle injury)