David Accam -- Dax McCarty -- Celebrate goal
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Chicago Fire vs. Minnesota United | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. Minnesota United
2017 MLS Regular Season
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Saturday, August 26 – 8:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE

After losing five of their last six matches and dropping from a first-place tie into third in the Eastern Conference standings, the Chicago Fire may feel more pressure than normal against visiting Minnesota United in a match the standings say should be an easy win.

Minnesota have yet to win away from home, and Chicago had not lost in 2017 at Toyota Park until falling 3-1 to Supporters' Shield leaders Toronto last Saturday. But despite lingering at or near the bottom of the West standings all season, the expansion Loons have proven themselves capable of the occasional surprise result, most notably a win against Kansas City and a draw at Houston.

Meanwhile, Fire striker Nemanja Nikolic's flood of goals has dried up since hitting a brace on July 1, a drought that has seen the Hungarian lose his grip on the MLS Golden Boot lead. And a defense that had conceded only 17 goals by the time Nikolic had reached his current 16-goal total has allowed 17 more in seven matches since.

Chicago Fire

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended next yellow card: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M John Goossens (ankle), GK Jorge Bava (elbow), D Brandon Vincent (quad), M Daniel Johnson (knee), M/D Matt Polster (knee), D Joao Meira, D Matej Dekovic (adductor)

Projected Starting XI
4-3-1-2, left to right

Matt Lampson – Patrick Doody, Christian Dean, Johan Kappelhof, Drew Conner – Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juninho –Michael de Leeuw – David Accam, Nemanja Nikolic

Notes: The Fire lost 3-1 to Toronto in their most recent home game on August 19th, their first home loss since a 2-1 defeat on Sept. 10, 2016, also at the hands of Toronto FC. Chicago have not lost back-to-back home matches since Oct. 25, 2015-March 6, 2016...Chicago have scored 11 goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season, tied for the most in the league. Minnesota have conceded seven goals over that same time period, tied for the second most in that span.

Minnesota United FC

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended next yellow card: Ibson
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Bernardo Anor (left lower leg), D/M - Thomas de Villardi (left Achilles), D/M - Joe Greenspan (head injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Marc Burch (athletic pubalgia), F - Christian Ramirez (right hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
4-2-3-1, left to right

Bobby Shuttleworth — Francisco Calvo, Brent Kallman, Michael Boxall, Jerome Thiessen — Ibson, Sam Cronin — Sam Nicholson, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay — Abu Danladi

Notes: Minnesota is one of two teams that has yet to record a road win or clean sheet this season (New England)...Minnesota conceded their seventh penalty goal of the season in their last game, the most in the league. Last season, only two teams conceded seven penalty goals – Portland and New England.

All-Time Series

This will be the teams' first-ever meeting.

Referees

Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Kyle Longville
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Dave Gantar