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Chicago Fire FC 2024 Season Preview


Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: They cleared out some disappointing, underperforming players and brought in guys who have been good either in MLS (Kellyn Acosta) or elsewhere (Tobias Salquist, Hugo Cuypers). It was a good offseason and the Fire look better than they were last year, when they nearly made the Wild Card Round.
  • Weakness: They were near the bottom of the league in virtually every chance generation metric, and as of now, they haven’t explicitly addressed the need for a playmaker.

Key Departures

  • Ousmane Doumbia: A defensive midfielder, Doumbia arrived last summer on loan from Swiss Super League side and partner club FC Lugano. The Designated Player's purchase option wasn't exercised at season's end.
  • Kei Kamara: Kamara's one season in Chicago ended with 5g/2a in 27 games. The veteran striker is third (144) in the MLS all-time goals chart.
  • Miguel Navarro: The Venezuelan international left back got traded to the Colorado Rapids after four seasons in Chicago. Navarro is now on loan at Argentine top-flight side Talleres.
  • Jairo Torres: Chicago and Torres reached a mutual contract termination, ending a disappointing two seasons in MLS for the Mexican winger – and opening a DP roster spot. He failed to score in 36 matches after commanding a reported $6 million transfer fee.

Key Signings

  • Kellyn Acosta: Acosta was one of the biggest free agents available this winter, and he chose Chicago as a long-term home. The USMNT midfielder arrives with 18g/25a in 252 matches spanning FC Dallas, Colorado and LAFC.
  • Hugo Cuypers: Chicago established a new club-record incoming transfer record when landing Cuypers for a reported $12 million (could rise to $14 million with add-ons). The DP striker signs from Belgian top-flight side Gent, where he tallied 51g/15a in 90 matches.
  • Andrew Gutman: A one-time homegrown target has returned to his boyhood team. Gutman joined via a trade from Colorado, bringing 10g/10a across 106 MLS matches as the club's new left back.
  • Tobias Salquist: A new center-back partner for Rafael Czichos? That's the vision with Salquist, who joined via transfer from Danish Superliga side Silkeborg IF.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

24MLS_Lineups_Chicago Fire FC


  • Marcelo Balboa: 7th in Eastern Conference
  • Kyndra de St. Aubin: 12th in Eastern Conference
  • Matt Doyle: 13th in Eastern Conference
  • Brian Dunseth: 10th in Eastern Conference
  • Miguel Gallardo: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Antonella Gonzalez: 9th in Eastern Conference
  • J. Sam Jones: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Sacha Kljestan: 13th in Eastern Conference
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 13th in Eastern Conference
  • Lori Lindsey: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Frédéric Lord: 14th in Eastern Conference
  • Joseph Lowery: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Sammy Sadovnik: 11th in Eastern Conference
  • Andrew Wiebe: 12th in Eastern Conference
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 12th in Eastern Conference
  • Diego Valeri: 9th in Eastern Conference
  • Jake Zivin: 11th in Eastern Conference

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Frank Klopas
  • Stadium: Soldier Field
  • Last year: 10W-14L-10T, 40 points, 13th in Eastern Conference
  • Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify