Johan Kappelhof

Look Ahead: Fire, Dynamo square off Sunday at Toyota Park

Following five straight matches against top competition from within the Eastern Conference, the Fire (3-5-2, 11 pts.) step back out of conference Sunday (May 20) for their annual meeting with the Houston Dynamo (3-3-3, 9 pts.). Kickoff is set for 3 PM CT at Toyota Park and tickets are available by clicking here.

Take an early look at the storylines and notes to keep in mind to prep for the weekend:

Bringing It Back
Remember 1998? The Bulls were putting the finishing touches on their NBA dynasty, Furbies were all the rage, and a whole country watched as "Seinfeld" came to end (before re-runs, at least). And of course, a star-studded Chicago Fire team took MLS by storm in its inaugural season, claiming the domestic double with MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup championships. Twenty years on, join the club for a nostalgic celebration of the year the Fire first took to the field with Sunday's '98 Throwback Match. Pick up a throwback jersey Tshirt and a ticket and be on the lookout Sunday for nods to a memorable year on and off the field.  

Two Ways to Watch
For the third time this season, the Fire on Sunday will feature in a matchup due to air nationally on UniMás and stream live on Twitter (U.S. only). The live Twitter broadcast will be available at this link beginning later this week. 

Latest Results
Veljko Paunović’s side emerged with one win and one loss from a recent double matchweek, which began at home on May 9 against the visiting Montreal Impact. Despite nearly a 70 percent possession advantage for the Fire, the game remained scoreless until the 89th minute, when fullback Kevin Ellis stepped up to deliver the winning strike, his second goal in as many games. The Fire then traveled to Ohio looking for a second win of 2018 against Columbus Crew SC, but a first-half penalty kick by Federico Higuín and second-half brace by Gyasi Zardes gave Crew SC a 3-0 victory.

Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo arrive in Bridgeview seeking their first road victory of the season; Houston has one loss and three draws in four games away from BBVA Compass Stadium, most recently a 2-2 outcome at Vancouver last Friday.

Chicago is 6-9-8 all-time against Houston and boasted a three-game unbeaten streak in the series before a 3-0 loss in Texas on the final day of the 2017 MLS regular season. The Fire have won the last two meetings played at Toyota Park, where the Dynamo have not claimed three points since June 5, 2009.

Under the direction of second-year manager Wilmer Cabrera, Houston’s attack has been led in 2018 by a pair of 22-year-old forwards in Alberth Elis (4 goals, 5 assists) and Mauro Manotas (5 goals). The duo each scored 10 goals during the 2017 season, leading the Dynamo to the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Among the other notable names on the Dynamo roster are two former standouts for the Men In Red. The ageless DaMarcus Beasley, who launched his MLS career with an impressive tenure for the Fire (2000-04), continues to contribute to the Dynamo back line, while Arturo Alvarez now dons the shirt of his hometown club following a productive two-year stint in Chicago.