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Chicago Fire Notebook: Players vaccinated, injury updates, and more

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The Fire are going for their first road win since October 2019 this Saturday in Atlanta

Fire players at training in Bridgeview on Wednesday
Chicago Fire FC

Chicago Fire FC players who wanted the Covid-19 vaccine received their first shots after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution, head coach Raphael Wicky revealed today.

Wicky had previously said the club was strongly encouraging players and traveling staff to get the vaccine, but would not require it. He declined today to reveal what percentage of players and staff actually received the shots.

“I keep that as confidential,” Wicky said. “So I am not here to say how many players got it or didn’t get it.”

If they received the Pfizer shot, players should be ready to receive their second dose on May 8, following the match against the Philadelphia Union. If it was Moderna, the second dose would come sometime around May 15, following the May 13 match against D.C. United. Because people sometimes feel sick after their second doses—especially with Moderna—it was smart by the club to make sure second doses would time out after a match, with plenty of time to rest and recover.

Fire Injury Updates

Goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm might be out a little longer than previously expected. After undergoing knee surgery last summer, Kronholm had another minor surgery last week to clean up his meniscus.

“He’s in rehab now and hopefully he will be back with the team, not much later than (we would have) expected him,” Wicky said.

Kronholm had been training individually, but had yet to progress to full team training. Wicky didn’t want to give a firm date as to when Kronholm would return.

Forward Elliot Collier and defender Carlos Terán are both back with the team and are “day-by-day”, Wicky said. Fabian Herbers is recovering well, but still isn’t with the team.

On to Atlanta

The Fire’s last true road win was a 5-2 victory over Orlando City in October 2019, in Bastian Schweinsteiger’s final match. Chicago beat Seattle in a neutral site match at the MLS is Back tournament last summer, but otherwise failed to win away from home in 2020.

Even at 50 percent capacity, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be a brutal environment to try to break that winless streak. On top of that, MLS is requiring same day travel again this season for teams flying three hours or less. That means the Fire will have to fly to Atlanta, play, and fly back—all in the same day.

Even so, Gastón Giménez said there are no excuses. The Fire need to win.

“We’re a different team than we were last year,” he said.