The Chicago Fire will look to bounce back from a devastating U.S. Open Cup semifinal defeat when they visit the Montreal Impact Saturday at 5pm CT (My50/TWCSC-WI/La Ley 107.9 FM).
Here are five things to know heading into the match.
Robert Earnshaw signs
ICYMI, the club signed veteran forward Robert Earnshaw Saturday afternoon. The former Welsh international won’t be available in Montreal but there is hope he could make his club debut next week against his former side Toronto FC. Earnshaw scored eight goals in 26 appearances with the Reds last season.
Earnshaw will be added to the Fire roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. The Welshman tweeted Saturday morning that he had a visa appointment scheduled for Monday in London.
Jeff Larentowicz on semifinal exit, moving on
On Thursday, Fire head coach Frank Yallop apologized to supporters for the team’s 6-0 drubbing in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup in Seattle.
Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz spoke about the defeat and the need to move on quickly Friday vs. Montreal.
“We need to take responsibility for what happened,” he told Chicago-Fire.com. “It’s unfortunate, it’s difficult and at the same time it’s a cup competition and we’re out of it. We have to focus on the league at this point. We’re playing against a team in Montreal that is going to be difficult but at the same time we can put ourselves in a really good position with a win and wipe away all the feelings from the game on Wednesday.
With the Fire playing their third game in seven days, Yallop hinted Friday that squad rotation would be needed, though he wouldn’t point to his plans for Saturday.
“There’s been a lot of travel this past week and guys have played a lot of minutes already. We need to manage this game with that in mind but we’re still able to put out a good team that can get us a result in Montreal,” he said.
Yallop’s lineup should be boosted by the return of Mike Magee who was suspended for Wednesday’s Open Cup semifinal. Former Impact winger Sanna Nyassi was also held out of the midweek match played on turf as a precaution because of his return from a high ankle sprain suffered with Montreal earlier this season.
Nyassi is expected to make his club debut in some part against his old team on Saturday.
Chicago Fire Weekly
Myself, Fred Huebner and Kevin Egan broke down the highs and lows of the past week for the Fire and also previewed Saturday’s match vs. club legend Frank Klopas and the Montreal Impact on today’s episode of Fire Weekly.