The Chicago Fire look to make it six games unbeaten across all competitions when they welcome the Colorado Rapids to Toyota Park Wednesday night (LIVE 7pm on My50; La Ley 107.9 FM).
Here are Five Things you should know about tonight's game...
Three Rapids Suspended
Coming off his red card for a harsh challenge on Alan Gordon in the 18th minute of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to San Jose, we already know Rapids leading goal scorer Atiba Harris would be suspended for Wednesday’s game.
Two more Rapids joined him Tuesday night as the MLS Disciplinary Committee announced additional one-game suspensions to defender Hendry Thomas and head coach Oscar Pareja.
Thomas was cited for endangering the safety of the opponent with his untimely tackle on Steven Beitashour in first half stoppage time while Pareja was punished for leaving his technical area and entering the field of play in the 49th minute.
The Rapids are also missing starting center back Shane O’Neill who is with Fire Homegrown midfielder Victor Pineda in Turkey, prepping for the U.S. U-20’s opening match of the FIFA World Youth Championships Friday vs. Spain.
Rapids Not So Good in Chicago
Its little secret that the Fire have fared quite well against the Colorado Rapids in Chicago. The Rapids come in having never won at Toyota Park (0-4-2 all-time) and 3-12-4 all-time in Chicago.
The last time the Rapids won here? A 3-0 victory August 14, 2004 at Soldier Field.
Maicon Santos Hits the Century Mark
Should he appear in Wednesday night’s game for the Fire, veteran MLS striker Maicon Santos will make his 100th career MLS appearance.
The Brazilian striker has been used almost exclusively as a substitute this season for the Fire, appearing in 11 regular season matches and tallying two goals and two assists in 321 minutes.
Central Midfield Rotation?
Mired in the middle of a long stretch of games and beginning a current run of three matches in a week’s time, Frank Klopas has already shown a willingness to rotate his central midfield between the likes of Logan Pause, Jeff Larentowicz, Alex and Daniel Paladini over the last month.
Asked Tuesday if that would continue over the next week, Klopas said, “We’ll see how the guys feel. Our main focus is Colorado and we know we play three games in seven days and of course it something to think about and we have to see because we have tough games -- we’re playing Columbus but we also want to make sure we’re ready and fresh for the Open Cup.”
Alex on the Rise
Brazilian central midfielder Alex has begun to string a long a nice run of starts for the Men in Red, getting the nod in each of the team’s past four competitive fixtures.
the Chicago Sun-Times Seth Gruen spoke with the second-year Fire attacker to find out how he’s adjusted to the physical play in MLS after one calendar year in Chicago.