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Fire look to dispatch D.C. United on Saturday night | MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United
2017 MLS Match Preview
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 – 8:30 pm ET

After following a tough away win at Montreal with a workmanlike home draw against the Red Bulls, the Chicago Fire will feel they have truly put their late-summer struggles behind them if they can dispatch D.C. United at home on Saturday night. 

The Fire may again play without midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger after he missed last weekend's 1-1 draw with a calf injury, but coach Veljko Paunovic's side should still have enough to persevere against a D.C. team that only has one player, Luciano Acosta, who has scored more than two goals this season.

A week ago, D.C. United still felt they had an outside shot at the playoffs after a three-match winning streak. But following a 2-1 home loss to Orlando, it will be intriguing to see whether coach Ben Olsen continues to go with veterans or if he gives an extended look to younger players like defenders Jalen Robinson and Chris Odoi-Atsem down the stretch.

Chicago Fire

  • Suspended: Michael de Leeuw (yellow card accumulation)
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M John Goossens (right ankle surgery), D Matej Dekovic (adductor), GK Jorge Bava (left elbow), M Daniel Johnson (left MCL), D Joao Meira (right calf), D Christian Dean (fifth metatarsal fracture), D Patrick Doody (left hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: M Bastian Schweinsteiger (calf)

Projected Starting XI 
(4-2-3-1, left to right) 

GK: Matt Lampson — Brandon Vincent, Jonathan Campbell, Johan Kappelhof, Matt Polster  — Dax McCarty, Juninho — David Accam, Luis Solignac, Arturo Alvarez — Nemanja Nikolic

Notes: Chicago's earlier 1-0 victory over D.C. at RFK Stadium on May 20 was just their first win in their last six trips to Washington.

DC United

  • Suspended: Sean Franklin (yellow card accumulation)
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – M Rob Vincent (left meniscus), M Patrick Nyarko (concussion), D Taylor Kemp (hip), F Bruno Miranda (thigh)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, left to right)
Bill Hamid – Nick DeLeon, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb – Russell Canouse, Marcelo Sarvas – Zoltan Stieber, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola – Patrick Mullins

Notes: United had gone 315 minutes without conceding a goal, the sixth-longest stretch in team history, before Orlando City's first goal in the Lions' 2-1 win at RFK last Saturday.

All-Time Series

D.C. have the slight edge in a series that is now in its 20th year. United have earned more points (31) than any other visiting team in Chicago in league history

  • Overall: Chicago 19 wins (82 goals) … D.C. 22 wins (87 goals) … 15 draws
  • At Chicago: Chicago 10 wins (43 goals) … D.C. 7 wins (33 goals) … 10 draws


Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Phil Briere
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.