Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (7-5-5, 26 points) and the Chicago Fire (9-3-4, 31 points) at Toyota Park. It’s the second of two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents. You may recall that the first was a 0-0 draw on June 4 with the Lions reduced to just nine men.
The Lions are 2-0-4 against Chicago in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, although the Fire have gotten the better of Orlando in the U.S. Open Cup. Orlando City is 2-0-1 on the road in league play.
The teams split the points last season, drawing both meetings. Cyle Larin and David Accam traded goals in the first 14 minutes of a 1-1 draw in Orlando on March 11 of last year, despite Chicago going down a man in the 26th minute. The Fire again came from behind to draw, 2-2, in the return leg in August, with Razvan Cocis scoring off a set piece in the 79th minute. John Goossens opened the scoring but Larin and Kaká tallies put the Lions ahead until the late equalizer.
The teams met once in Orlando in 2015, with the Lions and Fire battling to a 1-1 draw. You may recall that five-hour, weather-delayed affair with Eric Gehrig's own-goal canceling out an Accam strike. The other three meetings came in Chicago, with City winning 3-2 and 1-0 in MLS matches and falling 3-1 in USOC quarterfinal action.
Orlando is 1-4-2 on the road after a dramatic 94th-minute equalizer in Seattle to draw the Sounders, 1-1 on Wednesday. Chicago is the league’s hottest team, winning six times during its current eight-game unbeaten streak and not tasting defeat since April 29. The Fire have won both games since drawing at Orlando — including last Saturday at New England — and are 7-0-1 at home in Toyota Park this season. Chicago did not play a midweek game, so the Fire are by far the more rested side.
Cyle Larin is still out for Orlando City as he goes through the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. For Chicago, John Goossens (ankle sugery) remains out.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about the Fire from Sean Spence of SB Nation’s Chicago blog, Hot Time in Old Town.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus our exclusive interview with Orlando Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: PC, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Luis Gil, Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita, Will Johnson,.
Forwards: Kaká, Carlos Rivas.
Bench: Josh Saunders, Donny Toia, Jose Aja, Servando Carrasco, Richie Laryea, Giles Barnes, Matias Perez Garcia.
Chicago Fire (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Matt Lampson.
Defenders: Brandon Vincent, Joao Meira, Johan Kappelhof, Matt Polster.
Defensive Midfielders: Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger, .
Attacking Midfielders: David Accam, Michael de Leeuw, Luis Solignac.
Forward: Nemanja Nikolic.
Bench: Stefan Cleveland, Arturo Alvarez, Jonathan Campbell, Juninho, Drew Connor, Daniel Johnson, Djordje Mihailovic.
Ref: Jorge Gonzalez.
AR1: Eric Weisbrod.
AR2: Eric Boria.
4th: Juan Guzman.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Toyota Park — Bridgeview, IL.
TV: WRDQ TV 27 (Local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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