Welcome to your match thread for a Sunday match-up between Orlando City (7-17-3, 24 points) and the Chicago Fire (6-15-6, 24 points) at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL. It’s the second of the two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents.
Both teams have been in free fall, with Orlando winning just once in the last 18 games (1-15-2) and the Fire winless in their last nine (0-8-1) and earning only one win in their last 13 games (1-8-4). If this game was a TV show, it would already be canceled.
The Lions are 2-2-4 against Chicago in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, or 2-3-4 if you count the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match-up in 2015. Orlando City is 2-1-1 in Toyota Park in MLS play.
Orlando fell 2-1 at home in the last meeting between the teams, back on May 26, with Alan Gordon’s wondergoal breaking a 1-1 deadlock after strikes by Cristian Higuita and Aleksandar Katai.
The teams played to a 0-0 draw on June 4 of last year, with the Lions reduced to just nine men. Rafael Ramos was the first Orlando City player sent off that night, before becoming part of the trade that brought Cam Lindley to City. Ramos has since returned to Portugal. The most recent meeting in Illinois was the Fire’s 4-0 beatdown of Orlando on June 24 of last year. David Accam figured in all four goals, with a hat trick and an assist on Nemanja Nikolić’s goal.
The teams split the points in 2016, drawing both meetings. Cyle Larin and Accam traded goals in the first 14 minutes of a 1-1 draw in Orlando on March 11, despite Chicago going down a man in the 26th minute. The Fire again came from behind to draw, 2-2, in the return leg that 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 City is winless in eight straight games (0-6-2) and has lost 10 consecutive games on the road. I would like to sugar coat this season but there’s been nothing but bitterness since the team opened the season with a 6-2-1 run.
Chicago lost eight straight games before drawing Columbus, 1-1, in their most recent MLS match back on Aug. 23. The club then flew to Germany for Bastian Schweinsteiger’s testimonial and the break was probably good for the Fire, quite honestly, as they’ve been nearly as poor as Orlando City over the course of the summer. The Fire are 4-7-3 at home this year.
Chicago will try to get at Orlando City’s back line with the attacking line of Michael de Leeuw, Nikolic, and Katai. Midfielder Dax McCarty is good at pulling the strings and he’ll be instrumental since Schweinsteiger has been playing on the back line recently, in the middle of a three-man defense.
As of Friday’s update, Orlando City was missing Chris Schuler (groin) and Lamine Sané (quad) was listed as day-to-day, although he was in the 18 last Saturday. The good news is that the international players have returned. Chicago’s injury report has Matt Polster (knee surgery) and Diego Campos (knee) out. Goalkeeper Patrick McLain (hamstring) was listed as out but reportedly is close to a return. Jonathan Campbell (adductor) and Luis Solignac (adductor) are questionable.
Mandatory Match #Content:
Here's your mandatory match content for the game:
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about the Fire from Adnan Basic of SB Nation’s Chicago blog, Hot Time in Old Town.
- This week's PawedCast doesn’t exist. After an hour and 10 minutes of recording, the audio was unusable, which some might say never stopped us from posting it before. We’ll try it again next week.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Jonathan Spector, Carlos Ascues, Shane O’Neill, Scott Sutter.
Defensive Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotún, Oriol Rosell.
Attacking Midfielders: Mohamed El-Munir, Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán.
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Lamine Sané, RJ Allen, Pierre Da Silva, Stefano Pinho, Chris Mueller, Will Johnson.
Chicago Fire (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Richard Sanchez.
Defenders: Brandon Vincent, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Johan Kappelhof, Nicolas Hasler.
Defensive Midfielders: Brandt Bronico, Dax McCarty.
Attacking Midfielders: Michael de Leeuw, Djordje Mihailovic, Aleksansar Katai.
Forward: Nemanja Nikolic.
Bench: Stefan Cleveland, Jorge Gonzalez, Jonathan Campbell, Drew Conner, Daniel Johnson. Alan Gordon, Raheem Edwards.
Ref: Allen Chapman.
AR1: Nick Uranga.
AR2: Peter Manikowski.
4th: Daniel Radford.
VAR: Caleb Mendez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 5 p.m. ET.
Venue: Toyota Park — Bridgeview, IL.
TV: FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: FOX Sports GO, ESPN+.
Match Thread Rules
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you’re new, welcome to our happy home! While you’re here, please observe a few basic rules:
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Enjoy the match! Go City!