Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2020 MLS Match Preview

CHI-CLB Week 11

2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 11
Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew SC
Soldier Field – Chicago
September 12 – 3:30 PM ET

TV: Univision, TUDN

STREAMING: Twitter in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada

Chicago Fire FC are looking to snap a three-match winless streak when they host a Columbus Crew SC side that sits atop the Eastern Conference table Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field. 

Fire FC (2W-6L-2D) are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the New England Revolution, while Crew SC (7W-1L-2D) handed FC Cincinnati another Hell is Real defeat. 

This is the second meeting this season, with Columbus cruising to a 3-0 home victory August 20. Derrick Etienne Jr., Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes scored in the win. 

Chicago Fire FC

Fire FC suffered their first defeat in their new home stadium, done in by a Teal Bunbury brace as the Revs left the Windy City with a rare victory Sunday night. Chicago found the equalizer in the 22nd minute through Fabian Herbers, who was the beneficiary of a miscued strike from Miguel Navarro. And they had chances off set pieces early in the second half with the game level, but  Boris Sekulic and Francisco Calvo were unable to put their headers on frame.

"Look, I'm sitting here again and I have to say the same thing, if we wouldn't create, if we wouldn't have a plan, if I wouldn't see that the guys are trying and actually playing well, I would have to doubt and I would have to say I question things," Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky said after the match. "That's not the case in my eyes, so I will have to say the same thing over: we have to keep working and keep believing in what we do. We are creating chances, we are a good team and we have to keep doing that."

Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jeremiah Gutjahr (M) - knee injury
    • OUT: Johan Kappelhof (D) - hip flexor
    • OUT: Kenneth Kronholm (GK) - knee injury
    • OUT: Luka Stojanović (M) - knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Elliot Collier (F) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Fabian Herbers (M)
  • International duty: None

Columbus Crew SC

Zardes struck for another brace against FC Cincinnati, increasing his goal total against them to seven, as Crew SC celebrated another Hell is Real victory Sunday night at MAPFRE Stadium. With Lucas Zelarayan picking up a knock in training during the week, Nagbe assumed the No. 10 role and excelled in that role. 

Columbus have remarkably conceded just two goals, tied for the least amount in league history through 10 games and are also tied with the 2000 Kansas City Wizards and 2010 LA Galaxy for most shutouts (8) through the first 10 games of a season. The secret? 

"I think we do everything as a team," Caleb Porter said. "We defend as a team, we attack as a team. When you look at our group, I've watched a lot of the other games as well, and I think what sets us apart is we have a true team concept. We have every single player that defends, and they know their role defensively. We don't drop off, we press high, and we're aggressive, which is why we don't give up goals. It's not because we drop in and play a low block and try to protect our goal, it's because we attack the opponent right off the ball, and we do it with every single player. So, that's the key."

Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Vito Wormgoor (D) - ankle injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Lucas Zelarayan (M) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup at Fire FC

  • Fire FC: 16 wins, 51 goals
  • Crew SC: 6 wins, 39 goals
  • 12 draws


  • Referee: Jon Freemon
  • Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Ian McKay
  • 4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
  • VAR: Edvin Jurisevic