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Chicago Fire Notebook: Two games close out the final week in Austin

Only one will be streamed live, however

Jonathan Bornstein plays for the Fire in a friendly against Toronto FC
Chicago Fire

After Saturday’s windy, frigid, hail-delayed 1-0 loss to Toronto FC, the Chicago Fire are hoping for better weather in Austin this week as they close out the 2022 preseason.

The Fire take on FC Dallas Wednesday at 11 a.m., then wrap up the preseason against Austin FC at noon CT on Saturday, February 19. Both games are at Austin FC’s St. David’s Performance Center, and both are closed to the public.

The Fire will stream Wednesday’s game against FC Dallas at Per MLS blackout rules, it’s only available for fans living within 75 miles of Soldier Field.

There will not be a stream for Saturday’s game against Austin FC, however. The Fire were willing to provide one, but Austin’s technical staff wouldn’t allow it. Typically, when the Fire haven’t provided a stream for a preseason game over the last couple seasons, this is the reason why. Some coaches are very secretive and prickly with their preseason tactics, and they’ve refused to let the Fire show the game to fans.

The Fire will travel back to Chicago following Saturday’s game against Austin. They kick off the MLS regular season on the road against Inter Miami CF on February 26 at 5 p.m. CT.

Come on, Shaqiri!

That first match is only 12 days away, but the Fire do expect new Designated Player signing Xherdan Shaqiri to be available for the Inter Miami match. He’s waiting on a visa before he can officially enter the U.S. and join the team, but the Fire are hopeful things will go a lot faster with this signing than they did with centerback Rafael Czichos, who had to wait nearly a month before he was cleared to join.

Jersey Drop This Week

The Fire are scheduled to unveil a new, navy home kit on Thursday, February 17. Last year’s white away Lakefront Kit is around for one more season, but with the new crest in place of the Fire crown.

Gabriel Slonina
Chicago Fire

You also may have noticed the players are still rocking last year’s primary shirt sponsor, Motorola, on their jerseys this preseason (like the photo of Jonathan Bornstein at the top of this story). But, a front-of-shirt sponsor for 2022 is still TBA. In both the photo shoot of Shaqiri wearing the Lakefront Kit, and a recent shoot with Gabriel Slonina in his green goalkeeper kit, a front of shirt sponsor is missing. The Fire are hopeful they’ll land a sponsor, soon.