Welcome to your open thread for the second of three MLS meetings with the Chicago Fire. The teams, which will meet again on Sept. 19 in the Windy City, have split two meetings this season, with the Lions winning 3-2 in MLS action on June 6, and the Fire knocking Orlando out of the U.S. Open Cup via a 3-1 score line on July 22.
Both of those previous meetings took place at Toyota Park.
Orlando City (7-12-7, 28 points), forced two Adailton own goals in the initial meeting and Cyle Larin blasted home a scorcher as the Lions came from behind to take the first match-up. The Lions will be without right back Rafael Ramos and right wing Adrian Winter tonight, after both were sent off last Saturday night at Toronto. Midfielder Tony Cascio returned Tuesday in the friendly at Louisville City, so he could provide some depth off the bench in the attacking midfield.
Chicago (7-13-5, 26 points) took the second meeting with two late goals, just minutes from extra time, bumping City from the U.S. Open Cup in the quarterfinals. The Fire has torched the Lions with speed this season, scoring goals off deadly counter-attacks. Chicago has a bit of momentum after the addition of Gilberto and a mid-week victory over New York Red Bulls, and can overtake the Lions with a win.
Here's your mandatory content to prep for tonight:
- Austin Siegel's match preview and final score prediction
- This week's PawedCast talks more about tonight's match and gives more predictions
- Wade Williams on what we've learned from the prior meeting with Chicago
- Scott Crumbly on why Kaká and Cyle Larin need big games tonight
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Tally Hall
Defenders: Luke Boden, Aurelien Collin, David Mateos, Corey Ashe
Defensive Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Darwin Ceren
Attacking Midfielders: Carlos Rivas, Kaká, Lewis Neal
Forwards: Cyle Larin
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Tommy Redding, Servando Carrasco, Eric Avila Pedro Ribeiro, Bryan Rochez
Chicago Fire (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Sean Johnson
Defenders: Joevin Jones, Eric Gehrig, Jeff Larentowicz, Matt Polster
Midfielders: David Accam, Michael Stephens, Razvan Cocis, Patrick Nyarko
Forwards: Kennedy Igboananike, Gilberto
Bench: Jon Busch, Greg Cochrane, Lovel Palmer, Chris Ritter, Harry Shipp, Matt Watson, Jason Johnson
REF: Baldomero Toledo
AR1: Kermit Quisenberry
AR2: Kevin Klinger
4TH: Marcos de Oliveira
Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger
How to Watch:
Match time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL
TV: MY65 (locally) and Sun Sports (regionally)
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish)
Streaming: FOX Sports Go app
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
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