Orlando City (1-0-0, 3 pts) heads on the road for the first time this season on Saturday, facing the new-look Chicago Fire FC (0-0-1, 1 pt) at 6 p.m. ET at Soldier Field in Chicago. The match will be televised locally on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV, with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET. Local radio coverage will be available from 5:30 p.m. ET on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Chicago:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson (Columbus Crew), AM Xherdan Shaqiri (Lyon), CF Kacper Przybylko (Philadelphia Union), CB Rafael Czichos (1. FC Köln), F Jhon Durán (Envigado), RW Jairo Torres (Atlas, arriving in May)
Key Departures - CF Robert Beric (option declined), AM/CM Álvaro Medrán (Al Taawoun FC), AM/CM Luka Stojanovic (Al-Hazem FC), LW Ignacio Aliseda (Lugano), CB Francisco Calvo (San Jose Earthquakes), CB/RB Johan Kappelhof (Real Salt Lake), GK Bobby Shuttleworth (Atlanta United)
News - Chicago overhauled the top of its roster for 2022, allowing seven of its nine highest-paid players from 2021 to leave the club, including two Designated Players in Beric and Aliseda. In their place comes a handful of key pieces headlined by Shaqiri, the talisman of the Swiss national team who has won UEFA Champions League titles with both Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Shaqiri has also won seven league titles in his illustrious career and will be counted on as the fulcrum of the Fire’s refreshed attack.
Przybylko joins from Philadelphia for a hefty amount of General Allocation Money and is expected to lead the line for Chicago. The former Polish youth international has six goals in five appearances against Orlando City.
Take a look at Chicago’s full roster here.
Chicago opened the 2022 season in Fort Lauderdale last Saturday, drawing Inter Miami 0-0 in what was a fresh start for both sides. The Fire controlled most of the first half while Miami had the better of the second 45, but neither team was able to find the back of the net despite several strong scoring chances for each club. Saturday will mark the home opener for Chicago.
Orlando City are 4-5-5 all-time against Chicago, but the Lions have been much improved against the Fire under Oscar Pareja, going 2-1-0 over the past two seasons. Fielding a heavily-rotated team, Orlando fell 3-1 at Soldier Field last July 7 despite getting an early go-ahead goal from Andrés Perea. The Lions did win the return match at Exploria Stadium, though, with Mason Stajduhar recording his first career clean sheet in the 1-0 victory.
Rasmussen University Fact
For the second time in two years, the Fire are sporting a new crest. The club solicited advice from its supporters for the re-rebrand, including, per the Fire, “225,000+ words written via website submission, 500+ hours of dedicated time from fans via roundtables, and 10,000+ fan responses on social media.” Saturday will mark the first time the Fire play in front of their supporters wearing the new logo.