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Match Storylines pres. by NovaCare: Fire, D.C. United set for Saturday showdown

The Chicago Fire’s strenuous summer stretch of matches continues this weekend when D.C. United visit SeatGeek Stadium.

Get the lowdown on a crucial Eastern Conference clash ahead of Saturday’s 7 p.m. CT kickoff (ESPN+) with our #CHIvDC Match Storylines presented by NovaCare:

Form Guide

Head coach Ben Olsen’s side (9-6-8, 35 points) enter this weekend’s contest riding an up-and-down run of form as of late. D.C. were undone by a pair of late goals in their most recent outing - a 2-0 road defeat to Atlanta United FC last Sunday - and are 1-2-2 over their last five matches. Despite the result, D.C. sit in third place in the East, and remain one of the conference’s top road teams with a 4-4-3 record away from home.

The Fire (5-10-8, 23 points) will hope to claim three points from home amid a jam-packed July schedule. Saturday’s match will be their fifth in 15 days, factoring in Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Cruz Azul in the 2019 Leagues Cup tournament.

First Look

Should he receive his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) in time, Saturday’s match could mark the Fire debut for new signing Jonathan Bornstein. A left back by trade, the 34-year-old arrived in Chicago on Monday from Israeli Premier League club Maccabi Netanya. Bornstein is a veteran of the U.S. Men’s National Team with 38 caps to his name, and will bring experience across MLS and Liga MX at the club level to the Fire backline.

All-Star Bound

Following Saturday’s match, a pair of international icons will depart for Orlando to be a part of the 2019 MLS All-Star Game. Bastian Schweinsteiger will represent the Fire at the annual event for the second time, after captaining the MLS All-Stars against Real Madrid at Soldier Field in 2017. Joining him will be former Manchester United teammate and current D.C. United foe Wayne Rooney, who earned his first MLS All-Star selection this season. The pair will take on Atletico Madrid alongside the rest of the 2019 All-Stars at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, July 31 (7 p.m. CT | FS1, UniMás).

In addition, Fire rookie defender Andre Reynolds II was named to the MLS Homegrown Game Roster on Wednesday afternoon. The 18-year-old Chicago product made his professional debut as a starter on Tuesday night against Cruz Azul, and will join up with some of the league’s top young talent to take on the Chivas de Guadalajara Under-20 side on Tuesday, July 30.

#CHIvDC All-Time

Saturday’s match against D.C. United marks the second meeting between the teams this season. The Fire and D.C. United previously played to a back-and-forth 3-3 draw at Audi Field on May 29. The Men in Red had three different goal scorers in the draw - forward CJ Sapong, midfielder Djordje Mihailović and defender Francisco Calvo, who secured a road point with an equalizer two minutes into second-half stoppage time.

The Fire are 20-23-17 all-time against D.C. dating back to their inaugural season in 1998, including a 4-4-9 record in matches played at SeatGeek Stadium.

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