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Chicago Fire FC 2023 Season Preview

Chicago Fire FC: 2023 A Kit For All jersey

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: They’ve kept most of their squad together for a year or two, so they should have a chemistry advantage over most teams.
  • Weakness: They need a lot of guys to show better in 2023 than they did in 2022 if we’re going to seriously say they have a talent advantage. Chemistry can take you only so far.

Key Departures

  • Gaga Slonina: Across a year and a half, homegrown goalkeeper Gaga Slonina caught the global transfer market’s attention. Now, the 18-year-old US international is MLS’s most expensive goalkeeper after joining English Premier League side Chelsea in a deal worth up to $15 million.
  • Jhon Durán: Slonina was briefly the Fire’s club-record transfer… until Jhon Durán made a huge move to English Premier League side Aston Villa for up to $22 million. The Colombian international signed with Chicago following his 18th birthday last winter, and by the fall, was their starting center forward and bright spot in a forgetful year.
  • Jhon Espinoza: In a corresponding move with Maren Haile-Selassie’s signing, defender Jhon Espinoza joined FC Lugano, which is also owned by Fire owner Joe Mansueto. Between Espinoza and Duran leaving, there are no more Jhons on the Fire roster (!).

Key Acquisitions

  • Arnaud Souquet: Chicago have a new starting right back by way of Ligue 1-experienced Arnaud Souquet. The 30-year-old arrives from Montpellier after making 149 appearances in France’s top flight. He’s likely a day-one starter.
  • Maren Haile-Selassie: Winger Maren Haile-Selassie arrives from FC Lugano on loan, offering another option in the attack. The 23-year-old former Swiss youth international had 1g/3a in just under 700 Swiss league minutes this year before joining Chicago.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - CHI lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 15th in East
  • Charles Boehm: 13th in East
  • Tom Bogert: 15th in East
  • Matt Doyle: 14th in East
  • David Gass: 15th in East
  • J. Sam Jones: 15th in East
  • Sacha Kljestan: 15th in East
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 15th in East
  • Joseph Lowery: 15th in East
  • Melissa Ortiz: 14th in East
  • Danielle Slaton: 14th in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 15th in East
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 15th in East

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Ezra Hendrickson
  • Stadium: Soldier Field
  • Last year: 10W-15L-9T, 39 points, 12th in East
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify