CIN-CHI Week 9 09-02-2020

FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire FC | 2020 MLS Match Preview

2020 MLS Regular Season Week 9
FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire FC
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati
September 2 – 7:30 PM ET



FC Cincinnati seek to avenge last week's 3-0 loss to Chicago Fire FC when the teams square off for a Week 9 showdown at Nippert Stadium Wednesday night.

FC Cincinnati did well to rebound from that defeat, keeping a clean sheet in a draw with Columbus Crew SC in the latest Hell is Real derby at home on the weekend. Chicago, meanwhile, suffered a 3-1 setback to New York City FC at Red Bull Arena Saturday night. 

Last week, Alvaro Medran and Ignacio Aliseda each scored stylish first career MLS goals, Fabian Herbers added his first of the season and Chicago Fire FC marked its long-awaited return to Soldier Field with a comfortable victory over FC Cincinnati. The teams played to a goalless draw in the only other meeting at Nippert last September.

FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati returned to their stingy defensive ways in a 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC Saturday night. It was a marked improvement for an FC Cincy squad that leaked goals in a 4-0 MLS is Back Tournament defeat to their rivals. It was their third clean sheet in their last four matches. 

"We make progress, and we know it as well," manager Jaap Stam said after the match. "We speak about what we can do on the ball. I think in the first half we had a lot more possession. We could go forward a lot more. We try to keep that up, of course, but we need to be realistic as well. You’re playing against a very good side as well, very good players. For us, a very important thing is to close it down, not give too many opportunities or goals and then try to go forward and pick that goal."

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jimmy McLaughlin (M) - ankle injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Frankie Amaya (M)
  • International duty: None

Chicago Fire FC

Chicago did well to level just before the stroke of halftime, but they conceded two goals without response in the 3-1 defeat to NYCFC. Goalkeeper Connor Sparrow was a positive for coach Raphael Wicky, making four saves in his first MLS start.

"I think we told him, just play your game. Don't overthink. Try to enjoy. And I think he started well," he said. "He started well with that big save after two or three minutes. I think that gives him confidence, and we also told him, look, if you feel like you have to play long, then go long. It's your first game. New York City is a team who presses, so I think he took many times good decisions, and all the rest I have to see and speak with the goalkeeper coach. I think the big save in the first two minutes gave him some confidence, and that's good.”

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 FC Cincinnati

  • FC Cincinnati: 0 wins, 0 goals
  • Fire: 0 wins, 0 goals
  • 1 draw


  • Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
  • Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Jeffrey Swartzel
  • 4th Official: Ismir Pekmic
  • VAR: Sorin Stoica

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