Five things you should know about Saturday's game vs. Philadelphia
The MLS scheduling computer is funny…
Even if the Fire haven’t had the greatest start to the season, it feels good to be back playing again. That said, it doesn’t help the balance or competition when certain teams have played nearly a handful of games more. As of Friday night, the Fire, LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC have played just eight matches this season while Eastern Conference leaders New York have played 12.
Two bye weeks inside the first 10 weeks of the MLS campaign would rightly leave anyone scratching their head with the MLS scheduling computer, especially considering the busy stretches league stretches the Fire will have come June and July.
WATCH: Paladini, Rolfe preview Philly
With the Fire and Union doing a home-and-home dip, the next two weeks might have a quasi-MLS playoff series feel to them.
TICKETS: Fire vs. Union
While this is a recent oddity in the league, its something that used to happen much more back in the old days of MLS.
In fact, the Fire have played back-to-back games against an MLS opponent 21 previous times, though eight of those times came when combined with a U.S. Open Cup or MLS playoff match.
The Fire’s record in these back to back soirees: An overall 25-11-6.
Fun Fact: Three of the team’s four matches on the run to the 2006 U.S. Open Cup title came paired with MLS regular season games.
The Fire won all six matches over the Kansas City Wizards (2-0 MLS, 3-0 USOC), New England Revolution (1-0 MLS, 2-1 USOC) and LA Galaxy (2-1 MLS, 3-1 USOC).
The last time this happened: Not that long ago actually. On May 24, 2011, the Fire drew San Jose 2-2 before defeating the Earthquakes 5-4 on penalties to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Four days later the Fire hosted the Earthquakes in another 2-2 MLS Regular Season draw at Toyota Park.
Midfielder Victor Pineda moved on to the Athletico Injury Report Friday afternoon. The Fire Homegrown is listed as Questionable as he continues to deal with a right ankle sprain. Defender Hunter Jumper also remains in question with a groin strain.
The biggest news: Maicon Santos came off the list Friday and will be available for selection Saturday after missing the early part of the week with a knee injury.
Gonzalo Segares moving into the Fire's upper echelon
It would only make sense that eighth-year defender Gonzalo Segares would begin to chip away at the club’s Big 5 player appearance records…
When I say “Big 5” I refer to C.J. Brown, Logan Pause, Zach Thornton, Chris Armas and Jesse Marsch who sort of separated themselves in terms of games played for the club.
Should he start Saturday, Segares will surpass Marsch and move into fifth all-time on the club’s MLS regular season starts list with 183.
He’ll sit there for at least the rest of the season as Thornton and Armas sit tied for third with 212.
#cf97TunnelCam to debut on Chicago-Fire.com
Finally, I’m pleased to announce that the club will debut #cf97TunnelCam on Chicago-Fire.com Saturday.
What is #cf97TunnelCam? Put simply, it’s a live video view into the player’s tunnel beginning at 11:30am CT (see view to the right).
There will certainly be peaks and valleys in the action but, feel free to supplement your pre-game coverage with a view behind the scenes here at Toyota Park.