The Chicago Fire begin play in the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup on Saturday afternoon when they take on MLS counterparts Columbus Crew SC at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.
Fans are invited to stream the match live via the tournament hosts at CharlestonBattery.com when it kicks off at 4 p.m. CT.
The Fire's first foray into #CCC19 comes following a week of training in Charleston in the second leg of the Club's 2019 preseason camp. The Fire took away a draw and a win against Spanish sides Atlético Madrid B and CF Fuenlabrada, respectively. Saturday will represent head coach Veljko Paunovic's first look at his side against MLS competition, albeit in a friendly format.
"I think it’s the right time to test ourselves against an MLS team like Columbus who have always been a great team with a great style," he said. "Now with a new coach -- a proven coach -- who knows how to win in the league, it’s going to be a big challenge and test for us. We’ll keep building. We need these kinds of games. We need these kinds of opponents -- MLS teams -- and we are looking forward to the most we can get from this game."
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Aside from Crew SC, the Fire will additionally take on FC Cincinnati (Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. CT) and the Charleston Battery (Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. CT) over the next week as they prepare for their 2019 season opener in LA against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, March 2 (7 p.m. CT | FS1).