ExLink - 07/11/18 - CHIvPHI

Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 20

Toyota Park — Bridgeview
July 11 - 8:30 pm ET


Two teams looking to rebound from Week 19 losses and catapult over the playoff line in the Eastern Conference meet in the midweek when the Chicago Fire host the Philadelphia Union.

This is the second meeting of the season, with the Union holding serve at home, 3-1, on May 30. Ilsinho and Cory Burke scored on either side of halftime, Alan Gordon pulled the Fire within a goal in the 56th minute, but Borek Dockal scored from the penalty spot three minutes from full time to seal the win.

Chicago have won four straight league home games against the Union. They had won two of their first seven MLS home games against Philadelphia (2L-3D), per Opta. 

Chicago Fire

Chicago (6-8-5) had a five-match unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday, falling to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 3-2, at BC Place.

Nemanja Nikolic leveled late in the first half after Kei Kamara put the hosts in front in the 28th minute with his eighth goal of the season. Jordon Mutch struck two minutes into the second half and Kamara had his brace in the 72nd minute. Tony Tchani scored in the 81st minute, but the Fire weren’t able to find the late equalizer.

“Some minutes we played well, we had possession, we played to the right player and in some parts of the game we didn’t,” Bastian Schweinsteiger said. “We gave away the goals and then we lose.”

  • 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 surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Drew Conner (right calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Kevin Ellis, Jonathan Campbell, Brandon Vincent, Jorge Corrales — Mohammed Adams, Tony Tchani, Jon Bakero — Elliott Collier, Alan Gordon, Diego Campos

  • Notes: Kevin Ellis is just the fifth Chicago Fire defender since the start of 2010 with multiple assists in a MLS match. He has four assists in 16 appearances this season after tallying five in his first 68 games. … Chicago have won three of their last five league games at Toyota Park, as many they had in the previous 11 matches (5L-3D).

Philadelphia Union

The Union (6-9-3) dropped their second straight game and lost for the fourth time in the last five games when they fell to Atlanta United, 2-0, at Talen Energy Stadium Saturday. In each of the four defeats, Philadelphia scored one or fewer goals.

For the third time this season, Josef Martinez scored from the penalty spot, putting Atlanta in front, 1-0, in the 58th minute and then MLS’s leading goal scorer played provider in a beautiful buildup for Hector Villalba’s insurance goal in the 76th minute.

“Obviously, we are a team that plays better from ahead, make teams come out a little bit more,” Jim Curtin said. “But if you look at possession, chances created, if you look at the game from an objective, neutral standpoint I still think it is an even game where they made some plays in front of goal.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Josh Yaro (concussion)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Ray Gaddis — Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin — Ilsinho, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault — CJ Sapong

  • Notes: Philadelphia have won four penalties this season – only five teams have won more. They won seven in 2017. … The Union have just one win in their last 20 road games in MLS play (14L-5D), scoring 0.6 goals and allowing 1.9 per game.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 8 wins, 31 goals … Philadelphia Union 8 wins, 31 goals … 5 draws
  • At Chicago: Fire 6 wins, 16 goals … Union 2 wins, 11 goals … 3 draws
  • Last meeting at Chicago: Chicago Fire 3, Philadelphia Union 2 (Oct. 15, 2017)


Referee: Dave Gantar
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Chris Wattam
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Silviu Petrescu