NSH-CHI Week 21

2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 22
Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC
Nissan Stadium – Nashville
October 31 – 8:30 PM ET



After making history Wednesday by becoming the sixth expansion team to clinch a playoff berth in their first season, Nashville SC are hoping to improve their positioning Saturday night against a Chicago Fire FC side desperate to stay above the playoff line.

Nashville SC (7W-6L-7D) have lost just once in their last nine games and are coming off a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact, while Fire FC (5W-9L-6D) are hoping to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union. Nashville are sixth in the East at 1.4 points a game, just in front of the New York Red Bulls (1.38 PPG) and New England Revolution (1.38 PPG). Chicago are in 10th at 1.05 PPG, just in front of Inter Miami CF (1 PPG).

Nashville SC

Nashville SC joined the short list of MLS expansion teams to make the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in their inaugural season in the league. They officially clinched their spot thanks to a combination of results in Week 21 which came one day after they beat the Montreal Impact 1-0. 

Take that doubters.

“When you can prove people wrong, it puts a smile on your face," head coach Gary Smith told media on a virtual press conference. "I’m not sure you even need to remind people, you just need to have a wry grin at the comments made early on.”

Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Ken Tribbett (D) - calf injury
    • OUT: David Accam (M) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Dom Badji (M) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Chicago Fire FC

Fire FC are among those six teams to reach the postseason in their expansion season, doing so back in 1998. Now they're hoping to return there for the first time since 2017, but to have a shot they'll need to pick up their first road win of the 2020 season. Chicago are 0W-6L-3D away from home this year. 

Against the Supporters' Shield leaders Wednesday night, Fire FC were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute after Francisco Calvo was sent off on a straight red card for a challenge against Alejandro Bedoya. His handball in the box led to Kacper Przybylko's opening goal. Calvo's red card, though, was rescinded by the MLS Disciplinary Committee on Friday.

“We still have three games left and we need to get nine points from those three games or the maximum amount of points possible," Gaston Gimenez said after the match. "We are still in control of our fate and we are going to keep fighting and keep going with everything that we have because that's what we want.”

Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC | 2020 MLS Match Preview - Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Kenneth Kronholm (GK) - knee injury
    • OUT: Luka Stojanović (M) - knee injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Mauricio Pineda (D), Alvaro Medran (M)
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at Nashville SC

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Nashville SC and Chicago Fire FC.


  • Referee: Malik Badawi
  • Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Peter Manikowski
  • 4th Official: Marcos de Oliveira
  • VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero