There should be no excuses from the Chicago Fire tonight regarding injuries. Sure, the Fire still have a handful of key players out, but D.C. United barely has enough to field a team for tonight’s match at Audi Field (7 p.m. CT, WGN-TV & CFFC Live). They’ve been absolutely decimated by injuries. (Scroll down to the bottom of the story to see the full list.)
Unlike the Fire, D.C. actually has one win this season, but it’s been three straight losses since then.
After a promising 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution to start the season, the Fire have also dropped three straight. It means the Fire are now winless in 10 straight matches dating back to last season—a bad enough stretch to wonder if Raphael Wicky is on the hot seat in his role as Fire head coach.
“I feel I have the support from the club,” Wicky told Hot Time on Wednesday. “The team has the support from the club. We’re four games in. It’s very early. I repeat myself, these games are frustrating, the results. But yeah, I feel the full confidence of the club.”
With the short turnaround from Saturday and the need to kick start the season, Fire fans should expect to see some rotation in the starting XI tonight, which sources say will include a first career start for Brian Gutierrez. Wicky said Wednesday after struggling in preseason, “Guti” has been strong in training of late.
READ: Ruben’s D.C. United - Chicago Fire preview
READ: Inside the Broadcast Booth with Tyler Terens and Tony Meola
More News! Nearly all Chicago Fire players received their second Covid vaccination shots following the Philadelphia match. Wicky said “maybe two” players did not receive shots, but the rest are now fully vaccinated. That helps, not only to keep players from getting sick, but also in player movement. Wicky noted players should be able to move more freely between Chicago and the club’s USL League One partner, Forward Madison FC, meaning more valuable minutes for Homegrowns. Rules aren’t finalized, but Wicky said players should be able to move between the two teams without a quarantine two weeks after their second shots.
Zee Soccer Pod Derby! Tonight will mark the first time the two hosts of “Zee Soccer Podcast,” the Fire’s Fabian Herbers and D.C.’s Julian Gressel, have faced each other since launching the show. Gressel is one of the few D.C. players who isn’t hurt, and Herbers was listed as questionable for the second straight week, and is likely to see at least a few minutes tonight. The two made a Der Klassiker-themed bet: if D.C. wins, Fabi has to wear a Bayern Munich jersey on Instagram, and if the Fire pull it out, Gressel will wear a Borussia Dortmund jersey.
With @dcunited facing off against @ChicagoFire, we’ve made a friendly wager . Who do you think grabs a result tonight?— Zee Soccer Podcast (@zeesoccerpod) May 13, 2021
: https://t.co/VNngl2Tn0S pic.twitter.com/6EAIFHdJSs
D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire
MLS Match #5 | Thursday, May 13 | Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Steaming: CFFC Live - free to watch at ChicagoFireFC.com and the Chicago Fire mobile app for fans living in the Chicago TV market
Out of Market Streaming: ESPN+
Radio: WOJO 105.1 FM
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown
Chicago Fire Injuries
- OUT: Nick Slonina (health & safety protocols)
- OUT: Stanislav Ivanov (left knee)
- OUT: Kenneth Kronholm (right knee)
- OUT: Ignacio Aliseda (left thigh)
- OUT: Carlos Teran (left thigh)
- QUESTIONABLE: Fabian Herbers (right knee)
D.C. United Injuries
- OUT: Steven Birnbaum (undisclosed)
- OUT: Bill Hamid (undisclosed)
- OUT: Erik Sorga (undisclosed)
- OUT: Yordy Reyna (undisclosed)
- OUT: Chris Odoi-Atsem (undisclosed)
- OUT: Jacob Greene (undisclosed)
- OUT: Nigel Robertha (undisclosed)
- OUT: Russell Canouse (undisclosed)
- OUT: Donovan Pines (undisclosed)
- QUESTIONABLE: Kevin Paredes (undisclosed)
- QUESTIONABLE: Paul Arriola (undisclosed)
- QUESTIONABLE: Griffin Yow (undisclosed)
- QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Mora (undisclosed)
Next up for the Fire
Saturday, May 22 - Chicago Fire vs. Inter Miami at Soldier Field, Chicago (5 p.m. CT, UniMas)