The Chicago Fire look for their first win of 2014 when they welcome the Philadelphia Union to Toyota Park today (3:30pm CT My50/TWCSC).
Here are five things you should know about the match…
Jim Curtin Retirement
It was an honor to take part in Friday night’s ceremony which saw seven-year Fire defender Jim Curtin retire as a member of the club with which he spent a majority of his MLS career with. Now an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Union, Curtin was joined at the team hotel Friday night by former Fire teammates, C.J. Brown, Logan Pause, Gonzalo Segares and Bakary Soumare as well as some long-time Fire fans and staff.
Be sure to be back in your seats at the end of halftime when the club recognizes Jim’s retirement as a Fire player!
Chicago Fire Weekly
Jim also joined Chicago Fire Weekly as a guest this morning along with long-time soccer broadcaster and Union play-by-play man J.P. Dellacamera and Patrick Nyarko.
Get primed for this afternoon’s match with the archive of this morning’s show. Listen here.
Return of Austin Berry/Corben Bone
Along with Jim Curtin returning to Toyota Park, Saturday afternoon’s game also marks the returns of Austin Berry and Corben Bone.
Berry of course won the Rookie of the Year award with the Fire in 2012 and even spent most of preseason with the team this year before being traded to the Union in order for the Fire to be cap compliant. Berry seems set to return to the field after missing the Union’s last match with a hamstring injury.
Corben Bone could also return to Toyota Park Saturday as a member of the Union. After making just 18 appearances in four seasons with the Fire, Bone was selected by the club in last December’s MLS Re-Entry process. He’s made the bench in all four Union matches but has yet to make his club debut.
Palmer Returns, Segares Health
After serving a controversial two week suspension, Lovel Palmer is eligible for selection Saturday when he’ll hope to finally make his home debut for his new club. Palmer’s return will give Fire head coach Frank Yallop an interesting decision to make as to whether he sticks with fill-in right back Matt Watson or gives the Jamaican international his starting spot back.
Meanwhile, left back Gonzalo Segares was still hopeful to try and be ready to play Saturday but Yallop admitted earlier this week that he was still in doubt after the ankle sprain he suffered on March 16 in Portland. If not for the injury, the club’s mainstay left back likely would be tying Zach Thornton today for third on the club’s all-time MLS appearance list at 215 games played but instead has seen newbie Greg Cochrane fill in admirably in his absence.
Two weeks on from the coldest home opener in Chicago Fire history, today’s kickoff temperature looks to be a temperate 50 degrees with light wind.
Tickets are still available here or at the gate! See you at 4pm.