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Match Storylines pres. by NovaCare: Fire begin three-match road trip Wednesday at NYCFC

Riding a four-match unbeaten run, the Chicago Fire hit the road for three straight matches beginning Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC.

Coverage comes to you via ESPN+ and Univision Radio WRTO 1200 AM with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT. Get set for some midweek soccer with the #NYCvCHI Match Storylines powered by NovaCare:

Form Guide

New York City FC (1-1-5, eight points) picked up their first victory of 2019 on the weekend, a 2-0 finish at Audi Field against D.C. United. Head coach Dome Torrent’s side is unbeaten in three matches, having drawn at Minnesota and Montreal in the two matches prior. They currently reside in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Fire (2-2-3, nine points) ride a four-match unbeaten streak into Wednesday night’s contest, having put four goals past goalkeeper Tim Howard in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

“We’ve been working really hard," rookie Jeremiah Gutjahr said following the match. "We talk about staying positive and trusting the process throughout the ride. We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve had chances, and we haven’t always been able to put them away. We know we have the guys, the talent, so being able to put four in in a game, I think that just shows that we’ve got it in us and we can keep moving forward and hopefully keep picking up good wins like that.”

Nemanja Nikolić scored his third goal in as many matches, CJ Sapong picked up his team-leading fourth goal, and both Djordje Mihailović and Aleksandar Katai registered their first finishes of 2019, respectively. The three points pushed the Fire above the playoff line in the East, where they sit seventh after seven matches played.

A Big Debut

New York City’s 2-0 win over D.C. United was marked by the debut of Brazilian forward Héber, who was acquired by the club with Targeted Allocation Money on March 21 from Croatian side HNK Rijeka. The 27-year-old had 27 goals and 13 assists in 52 appearances for his former side, and picked up both his first MLS goal and assist in his first start on the weekend.

Fellow 2019 addition Alexandru Mitriță has bolstered the Citizens’ attack as well, having provided a pair of goals and an assist in seven matches played since arriving from Romania’s CS Universitatea Craiova in February.

Team of the Week

Both Héber and Fire midfielder Nicolás Gaitán were recognized for their performances during the latest matchweek, having been included in the MLS Team of the Week for Week 8. Gaitán helped pull the strings for the Fire in their 4-1 victory with a pair of assists, the first on a no-look cross to Nikolić for the opening goal and the second on an acrobatic touch around Howard for Mihailović to finish.

Club Connections

New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson played seven seasons for the Fire (2010-16) before being acquired by NYCFC in December of 2016. Johnson appeared for the Fire 176 times after being drafted 51st overall by the Fire in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

#NYCvCHI All-Time

Wednesday’s contest will mark the 10th league meeting between the Fire and NYCFC since 2015. In two matches played between both sides in the 2018 campaign, each team recorded a win in the head-to-head regular season series. The Fire will be looking for the Club's first-ever win at Yankee Stadium come kickoff.

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