Chicago Fire FC returns to SeatGeek Stadium Wednesday night for an Eastern Conference matchup against New York City FC.
The Fire enter the midweek meeting having earned a point on Sunday in a 0-0 draw with Nashville SC at Soldier Field. Wednesday's match will be the second meeting between Chicago and New York City this season. The two sides last met on Aug. 4 at Soldier Field, when 17-year-old Gabriel Slonina became the youngest-ever goalkeeper to start an MLS regular season match. Slonina also picked up a clean sheet on the night in what ended up a scoreless draw at home.
The Fire will now look to avoid another deadlock and grab all three points when tonight's opening whistle blows at 7 p.m. CT. Get all the info on tonight's starting XI in the lineup notes below, and tune in for coverage at kickoff on WGN-TV, CFFC Live, TUDN 1200AM, and MLS LIVE's out-of-market package on ESPN+.
- One change has been made to tonight's starting lineup coming out of Sunday's draw against Nashville.
- Fabian Herbers returns to the opening XI and makes his 18th start of the season. His 18 starts match his career high in a single season, a number he initially reached in 2020. He replaces Ignacio Aliseda in the lineup.
- Herbers is one of three members of tonight's roster that also played in the Fire's last game at SeatGeek Stadium on Sept. 29, 2019. Defenders Johan Kappelhof and Jonathan Bornstein started that match two years ago - a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC - and are included in tonight's starting lineup as well. They'll be joined along the defensive back line by Mauricio Pineda.
- Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina is back in net this evening, making his fourth-straight start and fifth overall of 2021. He now has a pair of clean sheets to his name coming out of Sunday's draw at home.
- Midfielder Federico Navarro made his first Fire start on Sept. 19, and has not left the first XI since. Tonight will be his fourth-straight appearance in the opening XI and his sixth appearance overall since being acquired by the Club in early August.
- Also in midfield tonight are Álvaro Medrán and Gastón Giménez. Medrán currently leads the team in assists, with five so far this season. He and Giménez will make their 19th and 20th starts of 2021, respectively.
- Jhon Espinoza and Miguel Navarro both return to the starting lineup. The pair of 22-year-old South American defenders lineup opposite one another along the touchlines for a second-straight match following their starts on Sunday against Nashville.
- Up top, forward Robert Berić will lead the attacking line and look for his fourth goal of the 2021 campaign.
- Available to Wicky as substitutions today are goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, defender Wyatt Omsberg, midfielder Javier Casas Jr., midfielder Luka Stojanović, midfielder Alex Monis, forward Elliot Collier, forward Stanislav Ivanov, forward Ignacio Aliseda, and forward Chinonso Offor.
- Midfielder Brian Gutierrez (right ankle), defender, Boris Sekulić (back), defender Carlos Terán (right thigh), defender Francisco Calvo (right thigh), and goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm (right knee) are out due to injury for tonight's match.
Get a look at NYCFC's starting lineup below as it becomes available: