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Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire: Gameday Guide and How to Watch

The 2022 MLS season is here!

Ezra Hendrickson talks to Fire players at a training session this week
Chicago Fire FC

There are plenty of storylines heading into the Chicago Fire’s 2022 season opener tonight against Inter Miami (5 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live). How will Xherdan Shaqiri fare in his first MLS game? Will Jhon Duran make in impact? Will Federico Navarro be fit enough to play? What will the back line look like with Rafael Czichos leading the way? What kind of ridiculous saves will Gabriel Slonina manufacture tonight?

All of those are valid. But, first and foremost, tonight’s match is about Ezra Hendrickson. After 25 years in MLS as a player and assistant coach, Hendrickson, finally, will walk out on a pitch as a head coach. It’s Ezra’s moment, and it’s fun to consider what will be going through his mind as he settles in to his spot on the Fire’s bench.

“As far as me? Excitement,” Hendrickson said this week. “I was telling the guys maybe right before the game, right before the first kick there might be a little nerves. But once that whistle blows, I’ll be settled in and I’ll be ready.”

There are two big question marks for Fire fans heading into the match. The first, whether Xherdan Shaqiri will start and go 90 minutes. He said at his introductory news conference this week that he is indeed 90-minute match fit, and will be ready to go. The other question mark is Federico Navarro, who was the Fire’s best player after arriving late last summer. Navarro’s been out for the entire preseason with a right knee injury, but he has been training this week and is listed as questionable for tonight. If Navarro can’t go, or the Fire want to limit his minutes, Mauricio Pineda may be the one to fill in at the No. 6 role.

Pregame Programming!

Tonight’s match starts at 5 p.m. CT, but fans will want to tune in to WGN and CF97 Live 30 minutes early for a half-hour season preview show. It’s the first of two straight weeks of special pregame programming—next week WGN and CF97 Live will air an episode of the Fire’s spectacular behind the scenes show “No Little Plans.”

How To Watch

Broadcasts will work a lot like last season. Tyler Terens and Tony Meola are back on the call again this season, and Arlo White will join over the summer. All locally broadcast games will air on WGN-TV and the newly named CF97 Live, which is a free streaming option on the Fire’s website and mobile app. Fans living outside the Chicago TV market can watch on ESPN+.

Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire

MLS Match #1 | Saturday, February 26 | DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Kickoff: 5 p.m. CT

TV: WGN-TV

Streaming: CF97 Live (available for free for Chicago area fans at ChicagoFireFC.com and the Chicago Fire app)

Out-of-market streaming: ESPN+

Broadcast Team: Tyler Terens (play-by-play), Tony Meola (color analyst)

Radio: TUDN WRTO 1200AM

Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown

Chicago Fire Injury Report

  • OUT: Carlos Terán (right thigh)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Federico Navarro (right knee)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Missael Rodriguez (left hip)

Inter Miami Injury Report

  • OUT: Ian Fray (undisclosed)
  • OUT: Joevin Jones (undisclosed)
  • OUT: Nick Marsman (undisclosed)
  • OUT: Victor Ulloa (undisclosed)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Mo Adams (undisclosed)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Edison Azcona (undisclosed)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Bryce Duke (undisclosed)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Kieran Gibbs (undisclosed)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Robbie Robinson (undisclosed)

Upcoming Chicago Fire Schedule

Saturday, March 5 - Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City at Soldier Field, Chicago (5 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live)

Saturday, March 12 - D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire at Audi Field, Washington, D.C. (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live)

Saturday, March 19 - Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City at Soldier Field, Chicago (5 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live)

Saturday, April 2 - Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas, Soldier Field, Chicago (2:30 p.m. CT, Univision)