Chicago Fire FC returns to Soldier Field on Saturday night for what may be a blustery affair against visitors FC Cincinnati.
Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson's men are back in action after a valiant performance last weekend in Philadelphia, when the 10-man Fire held on for 90 minutes before ultimately succumbing to a Joaquin Torres goal at the very end of regulation. Cincinnati enters the match unbeaten (2-0-1) through their first three matches of the 2023 regular season after upending the Seattle Sounders 1-0 at home last weekend. As it stands, they sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.
If you can't join us at Soldier Field, be sure to tune in live for kickoff on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV at 7:30 p.m. CT. In the meantime, get the details on tonight's just-released Fire starting XI and bench below:
- Four changes have been made to the lineup from last weekend's match in Philadelphia.
- Making his first Fire start is 2023 signing Maren Haile-Selassie, who slots into midfield as part of tonight's attack.
- Returning to the starting XI alongside Haile-Selassie are Chicago natives Chris Mueller and Brian Gutiérrez. Gutiérrez, 19, had arguably his finest performance in a Fire shirt the last time these two teams met, scoring a goal and adding two assists in a 3-2 win at Soldier Field last October. Mueller approaches a career milestone, as he makes the 99th MLS start of his career tonight.
- Making his first start of the season tonight is Mauricio Pineda. The Homegrown product earns his 75th career start, and slots into holding midfield alongside Gastón Giménez.
- Up top, Kacper Przybyłko starts for the third straight match at forward, and - like Mueller - nears an MLS milestone by making his 98th start in regular season play.
- Starting together for the third straight match are the defensive quartet of Miguel Navarro and Arnaud Souquet at fullback, with captain Rafael Czichos and Carlos Terán paired up centrally.
- In net, 19-year-old Homegrown product Chris Brady earns his second-straight start and third of his career. Brady will make his first career start and appearance with the Fire at Soldier Field tonight.
- Available to Hendrickson as substitutions tonight are goalkeeper Spencer Richey, defender Kendall Burks, defender Jonathan Dean, defender Wyatt Omsberg, midfielder Javier Casas Jr., forward Victor Bezerra, forward Alex Monis, and forward Missael Rodriguez.
- Midfielder Jairo Torres (right upper leg), midfielder Federico Navarro (left upper leg), and midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right upper leg) are unavailable for selection due to injury tonight.
- Forward Kei Kamara and midfielder Fabian Herbers are unavailable for selection tonight while they each serve a one-match suspension for red cards received last weekend in Philadelphia.
Take a look at how FC Cincinnati will start below as the lineup becomes available: