Happy Gameday! The Chicago Fire welcome 2013 MLS Cup finalists Real Salt Lake to Toyota Park tonight (7pm CT on My50/TWCSC). Here are Five Things You Should Know about today’s match…
Fire Injury Update
After missing five matches, Gonzalo Segares is back and available for selection, though there were questions this week as to whether or not he’d slot directly back into the team with Greg Cochrane performing admirably in his absence. Definitely one to watch tonight…
Frank Yallop may be limited in attacking options off the bench with Quincy Amarikwa suspended and Dilly Duka and Alex still trying to get back from hamstring injuries as well.
The latter two trained this week but Alex specifically may still be feeling the effects of the injury that pulled him out of the New England game early two weeks ago.
Fire vs. RSL History
The Chicago Fire have a 6-3-7 all-time MLS regular season record against Real Salt Lake which is good on the surface though it may not be the team they want to face if they’re hoping to avoid setting the MLS consecutive draw record tonight.
The Fire of course come in with six straight ties (0-1-6) while RSL remain the only unbeaten team in the league (3-0-5). The 11 combined draws might make some wish for MLS to bring overtime or the shootout back, especially when you consider that three of the last four matches vs. RSL have ended in stalemates.
Fire vs. RSL Connections
There are plenty of connections between the two clubs. Fire right back Lovel Palmer and assistant coach C.J. Brown helped guide the side to the MLS Cup final last year, while backup goalkeeper Kyle Reynish and assistant Clint Mathis both spent time in their careers on the Wasatch Front.
On the other end, RSL features former Fire first teamer Kwame Watson-Siriboe and former Fire PDL products Ned Grabavoy, Chris Schuler and Rich Balchan. On a peer-to-peer note, Sam Stejskal who used to cover the Fire for MLSsoccer.com slings the beautiful game for RSL as well.
Welcome back Sam!
What’s Going On Around the Stadium?
Before entering at Toyota Park, be sure to stop by the Section 8 Chicago tailgate where the Fire Fanbulance will be cooking some goods. The club will also be raffling off a coveted Away Season Ticket, which gets you round trip bus and match tickets to Fire away games at Columbus (May 24), Kansas City (July 6) and Toronto (August 16).
Tickets are $5 with all proceeds going to benefit the Section 8 Tifo Fund.
Once you get into the stadium, enjoy $2 drafts at concession stands behind Sections 102, 112, 114, 118, 122, 126 and on the Stage.
Sam Steinbacher Tribute
Prior to tonight’s match, the club will hold a moment of silence for Estrellas Rojas performer Sam Steinbacher who passed away last week from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
May is EDS Awareness month, for more information please visit ednf.org.