The most anticipated Chicago Fire home opener in recent memory kicks off today at Soldier Field (5 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live). The Fire play host to a solid Orlando City side looking for a second straight win.
There are a lot of firsts happening tonight. It’s the first time Xherdan Shaqiri will play before Fire fans at home, the first home match for new head coach Ezra Hendrickson, the first time the new logo will appear on the Fire’s jerseys at Soldier Field, and it’s the first home opener at Soldier Field without attendance restrictions since the team moved back to the Lakefront.
For all of those reasons, the club is expecting more than 23,000 in attendance tonight, and with the weather at kickoff hovering in the 60s, that number could grow a lot higher. The club’s largest crowd for a home opener was 35,830, back in April 1998 against the Tampa Bay Muniny. The Fire drew 25,375 the following season against the Dallas Burn—and that’s a number that could very well be topped tonight.
New striker Kacper Przybylko has played against the Fire at Soldier Field, but tonight marks his first match before the home crowd, too.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Przybylko said. “It’s such a great atmosphere here among the team basically everywhere I’m going, so I’m really excited for it.”
Captain Czichos Questionable
Rafael Czichos barely put one foot wrong in his opening match with the Fire in Miami, but he’s listed as questionable for today’s match. Czichos appeared to take part in training at Soldier Field on Friday, so it’s a good bet that if he can play, he will give it a go.
The Fire trained at Soldier Field today. Shaq was especially excited. #cf97 pic.twitter.com/lILKObtwSZ— Patrick McCraney (@patrickmccraney) March 4, 2022
Wintrust Pitch at Soldier Field
The Fire announced a multi-year field naming deal with Wintrust Financial Corporation this week. Starting tonight, the Fire will play home games at “Wintrust Pitch at Soldier Field.” This naming deal is only for Fire games. The stadium’s actual name is still Soldier Field.
If you’re not heading to Soldier Field this afternoon, you’ll want to tune in to the TV broadcast 30 minutes early. Starting at 4:30, WGN and CF97 Live will air an episode of the Fire’s 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+.
Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City
MLS Match #2 | Saturday, March 5 | Soldier Field, Chicago
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CT
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: Rafael Czichos (right thigh)
- QUESTIONABLE: Victor Bezerra (right ankle)
Orlando City Injury Report
- OUT: None listed
Upcoming Chicago Fire Schedule
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)
Saturday, April 9 - Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire at Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL (noon CT, Univision)