If the Chicago Fire can earn a fourth straight shutout today when Sporting Kansas City visits Soldier Field (5 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live), it would mark the first time the club has posted four straight clean sheets since July 2009.
Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina is questionable for today’s match after rolling his ankle against D.C. United, but he is expected to play today. If the Fire can keep SKC off the scoresheet, Gaga would become the first goalkeeper in MLS history to start a season with four straight clean sheets. If Gaga continues at this pace, he could well break the MLS record for clean sheets in a season—16—set back in 2000 by Tony Meola, when he was with Kansas City.
Captain Rafael Czichos is also listed as questionable. He and Wyatt “Sushi” Omsberg have been stellar this season as a centerback partnership—working to ensure Slonina has only faced eight shots total this season, which is third least in MLS.
But, Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson, who picked up his first career victory last week in D.C., knows today won’t be easy.
“Well, knowing Peter [Vermes], they are going to be angry, aggressive,” Hendrickson said this week. “The start of the season has not gone so well for them so I’m sure he’s going to have them fired up to come in here and steal some points from us.”
The Fire’s attack started to wake up a bit last weekend, with Stanislav Ivanov and Jonathan Bornstein scoring the team’s first two goals of 2022. We’re still waiting on goals from new attacking signings Kacper Przybylko and Xherdan Shaqiri, though. Shaqiri, for his part, is tied for the third-most chances created (11) in the league, behind Luciano Acosta (13) and Lucas Zelarayan (13).
There’s no official word on ticket sales for today’s match, but don’t expect it to break the 25,000 mark that we saw for the home opener against Orlando City. First of all, the weather is cold and rainy, and second of all, it’s typical in MLS to see attendance drop a bit after a home opener. But, we’re hearing there could be a giant crowd brewing when LA Galaxy visit Soldier Field on April 16.
How To Watch
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+.
Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City
MLS Match #4 | Saturday, March 19 | Soldier Field, Chicago
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CT
Streaming: CF97 Live (available for free for Chicago area fans at ChicagoFireFC.com and on the Chicago Fire app)
Out-of-market streaming: ESPN+
Broadcast Team: Tyler Terens (play-by-play), Tony Meola (color analyst)
Radio: TUDN 1200 AM
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown
Chicago Fire Injury Report
- OUT: Carlos Terán (right thigh)
- OUT: Andre Reynolds II (left thigh)
- QUESTIONABLE: Victor Bezerra (right shoulder)
- QUESTIONABLE: Rafael Czichos (left foot)
- QUESTIONABLE: Gaga Slonina (left ankle)
Sporting Kansas City Injury Report
- OUT: Gadi Kinda (knee surgery)
- OUT: Alan Pulido (knee surgery)
- OUT: Jose Mauri (unavailable)
- QUESTIONABLE: Uri Rosell (hamstring)
- QUESTIONABLE: Khiry Shelton (calf)
- QUESTIONABLE: Johnny Russell (hamstring)
- QUESTIONABLE: Daniel Salloi (calf)
Upcoming Chicago Fire Schedule
Saturday, April 2 - Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas, Soldier Field, Chicago (2:30 p.m. CT, Univision)
Saturday, April 9 - Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire at Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL (noon CT, Univision)
Saturday, April 16 - Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy at Soldier Field. Chicago (7 p.m. CT, WGN-TV and CF97 Live)
Saturday, April 23 - Minnesota United vs. Chicago Fire at Allianz Field, St. Paul. MN (4 p.m. CT, ESPN)