Orlando City (8-4-7, 31 pts) opens up a three-game homestand this Saturday evening against Chicago Fire FC (5-10-5, 20 pts), looking to gain both separation from the other Eastern Conference playoff contenders and to earn some revenge from last month’s defeat to the Fire at Soldier Field. The game, presented by Ford, is set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET, with local television coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV. Local radio coverage also starts at 7:30 p.m. on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Fire:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - DM Federico Navarro (Talleres), CF Chinonso Offor (FK RFS), RW Stanislas Ivanov (Levski Sofia), RB Jhon Espinoza (SD Aucas), F Jhon Jader Durán (Envigado, arriving 2022)
Key Departures - AM Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montréal), CM Brandt Bronico (Charlotte FC), F CJ Sapong (Nashville SC)
Player News - Midfielder Luka Stojanovic has been red hot for Chicago, scoring four goals in his past three games. Before his brace on August 8 against the New York Red Bulls that started his recent run, Stojanovic had not scored since May 22. The Serbian midfielder has seven goals and two assists on the season.
Take a look at the Fire’s full roster here.
Chicago began the 2021 season 1-7-2 in their first ten games, but they’ve been significantly better since the calendar flipped to July. With a 4-3-3 record in their last ten, the Fire have worked themselves back onto the fringes of the Eastern Conference playoff race. They nearly got three points closer to the red line on Wednesday night in Fort Lauderdale, but saw a 2-1 lead turn into a 3-2 defeat after second half goals from Miami’s Robbie Robinson and Rodolfo Pizarro.
The Fire added another win to their record against Orlando City back on July 7, when Chicago overcame an early Andrés Perea goal to win 3-1 at Soldier Field. Chicago is 5-3-5 overall against Orlando, though the Lions won the last meeting at Exploria Stadium, a wild affair on September 19 of last year that saw Chris Mueller, Nani, Júnior Urso, and Benji Michel all find the scoresheet while Pedro Gallese saved a penalty kick.
Rasmussen University Fact
Chicago has had a rough go of it away from Soldier Field this season, sporting an 0-6-1 record in away games. The Fire are winless in 18 consecutive road matches, with their last victory, ironically enough, coming at Exploria Stadium on Decision Day in 2019.