CLB-CHI Week 6

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

2020 MLS Regular Season Week 6
Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire FC
MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus
August 20 – 7:30 PM ET

STREAMING: MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada

After an impressive overall performance at the MLS is Back Tournament, Columbus Crew SC look to continue their hot form when they host Chicago Fire FC in both teams restart of their 2020 season August 20 at MAPFRE Stadium.

Although they weren't crowned champions, as Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said with a splash of sarcasm, Crew SC were one of the best teams in Orlando. Caleb Porter's squad didn't concede a goal in three group stage wins before being eliminated by the Loons on penalty kicks in the Round of 16. Raphael Wicky picked up his first win in charge of Fire FC, a stirring 2-1 upset of the Seattle Sounders before back-to-back 2-0 losses to the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps to end their run in Orlando.

You have to go back to 2018 for the last Fire FC in in this longtime series, although Crew SC haven't exactly dominated of late. Each of the last three encounters ended in draws. 

Columbus Crew SC

It's still early days in this unique 2020 season, but Crew SC find themselves atop the Supporters' Shield race with four wins in five overall matches, conceding just once to date. There's been a collective commitment to defending with center back Jonathan Mensah particularly impressive early on. Darlington Nagbe is the pulse of the midfield, while Lucas Zelarayan, who has three goals and two assists, has been one of the most impressive offseason signings in the league.

After a near flawless start to the season, we'll see how Porter's side respond to a bit of adversity coming off their MLS is Back ouster. They've been working on their depth during the Secondary Transfer Window, acquiring defender Grant Lillard in a trade with Inter Miami CF in exchange for a third round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and midfielder Fatai Alashe from rival FC Cincinnati in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2021 SuperDraft.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Vito Wormgoor (D) - ankle injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Chicago Fire FC

It was more positive than negative for Fire FC in Orlando despite not advancing out of the group stage. Wicky used the tournament to continue to integrate some of the club’s newer faces from defender Boris Sekulic, to holding mid Gaston Gimenez and left back Miguel Navarro, who looks to be a real find.

The Fire have been unlucky when it comes to long-term injuries. MLS veteran Bobby Shuttleworth is the No. 1 goalkeeper after Kenneth Kronholm suffered a torn ACL at training and had season-ending surgery. Midfielder Luka Stojanovic is also sidelined for the foreseeable future following an MCL injury suffered against San Jose in Orlando. The Fire announced on Tuesday that the club has signed Fabian Herbers to a new contract that will keep him with the club through 2023, with an option for 2024. That might be the only bit of business the club do during the Secondary Transfer Window after a busy winter of roster upheaval. 

“We always have our eyes open in the transfer window, but we want to give these players a chance to play,” Wicky told media on a video conference call.

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
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Fabian Herbers (M)
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup at Crew SC

  • Crew SC: 13 wins, 59 goals
  • Fire FC:10 wins, 40 goals
  • 9 draws

Officials

  • Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
  • Assistant Referees: Cory Richardson, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
  • 4th Official: Lukasz Szpala
  • VAR: Sorin Stoica

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