Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 05/20/18 - CHIvHOU

Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 12

Toyota Park — Bridgeview, Illinois
May 20 - 4:00 pm ET
WATCH: UniMás, Twitter, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

Two teams desperately seeking consistency clash at Toyota Park when the Chicago Fire, which followed a midweek over Montreal with a loss at Columbus, host the Houston Dynamo, which drew Vancouver Whitecaps FC after beating the LA Galaxy.

The Dynamo won the last meeting, 3-0, at BBVA Compass Stadium last October.

Chicago Fire   

Veljko Paunovic made two changes from the side that defeated the LA Galaxy, with Jonathan Campbell coming on for an injured Grant Lillard in central defense and Diego Campos and Elliot Collier replacing Bastian Schweinsteiger and Alan Gordon in a changed 4-2-3-1 formation.

Chicago (3-5-2), though, weren’t able to build on the momentum of a 1-0 win over Montreal and fell to Crew SC, 3-0.

“It’s good that we now have time to recover from that game,” Paunovic said after the match. “But also, it’s important to start getting back injured guys. For a long time now, the team is suffering, not in terms of anything else, but just the sake of rotations. We need everyone back.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL sprain), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury), M - Jon Bakero (right ankle injury), M - Drew Conner (right gastric injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Dax McCarty (hamstring strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhof, Grant Lillard, Brandon Vincent — Mo Adams, Bastian Schweinsteiger — Diego Campos, Elliot Collier, Aleksandar Katai — Nemanja Nikolic

  • Notes: Nemanja Nikolic has not scored in four consecutive matches, the second-longest such streak in his MLS career. He has taken just two shots over those four games (took 15 in his first six games). … The Fire have gone 2W-2L over their last four home games. Both of their wins have been 1-0 score lines.

Houston Dynamo

Wilmer Cabrera made one change from the side that defeated the LA Galaxy, 3-2, with Leonardo coming on for DaMarcus Beasley, which moved Andrew Wenger to left back and Adolfo Machado to right back.

Houston (3-3-3) had a pair of leads in each half on goals by Tomas Martinez, his second of the season, and Mauro Manotas, who struck in the 90th minute. But twice they conceded the equalizer, including one by Kendall Waston deep in second-half stoppage time, to settle for a 2-2 draw at BC Place.

“It’s frustrating a little bit that the three games we have been ahead, we’ve been giving up goals, especially on set pieces or we’ve been giving up goals right there in the last minutes,” Cabrera said after the game. “We need to keep pushing and we have to continue working. Set pieces are still important because we’ve given up almost two goals per game. We scored two goals, but if we have to score three goals to win away it’s going to be complicated.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad strain), D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring injury), D - George Malki (left knee sprain), D - Dylan Remick (concussion), D - Kevin Garcia (concussion), D - Jared Watts (right hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Darwin Ceren (leg injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Andrew Wenger, Adolfo Machado, Alejandro Fuenmayor, DaMarcus Beasley — Eric Alexander, Oscar Boniek Garcia — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Romell Quioto is completing an average of 2.0 open play crosses per game, nearly double that of the next closest player (min. 10 total open play crosses). He is also completing 48.7 percent of his open play crosses, the third most of any MLS player (min. 10 open play crosses). … Houston is winless on the road so far this season (1L-3D). They have allowed two goals in each of their four away games this season.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 6 wins, 26 goals … Houston Dynamo 9 wins, 33 goals … 8 ties
  • At Chicago: Fire 4 wins, 14 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 14 goals … 4 ties
  • Last meeting at Chicago: Chicago Fire 1, Houston Dynamo 0 (May 21, 2016)


Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, CJ Morgante
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Alex Chilowicz