It's Fan Appreciation Night at Soldier Field as the Chicago Fire prepare to host Real Salt Lake for their final home match of the 2021 regular season.
Interim head coach Frank Klopas and his side are coming off a pair of dramatic road results entering the match - a come-from-behind 2-2 draw on the road at New England last weekend, and a wild last-minute 4-3 win at FC Cincinnati on Wednesday. Tonight's visitors will be looking to keep their postseason ambitions afloat, as they currently sit just outside the seven-team Western Conference playoff field in eighth place with 42 points.
With over 30,000 tickets distributed for tonight's match, this won't be one to miss. Catch coverage of kickoff starting at 7 p.m. CT on WGN-TV, CFFC Live, TUDN 1200 AM, and MLS LIVE's out-of-market package on ESPN+, and take a look at how the Fire will take the field in the lineup notes below:
- Two changes have been made to the starting XI that were 4-3 victors in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
- Midfielder Gastón Giménez returns to the opening lineup for the first time since his return from international duty with Paraguay. He makes his 21st start of the season tonight, and 24th appearance overall.
- Defender Boris Sekulić also re-enters the starting XI, making his first start since Sept. 22 against New England. He and Giménez replace Jhon Espinoza and Johan Kappelhof in tonight's lineup.
- Álvaro Medrán will take his usual place in the center of the park after a standout performance in Wednesday's win. The team's current assist leader (six) scored his third goal of the season on a perfectly placed direct free kick in the 71st minute in what was the Fire's third goal on the night. He and Federico Navarro round out tonight's Fire midfield alongside Giménez.
- Forward Robert Berić enters the match with MLS Team of the Week honors to his name after scoring a three-minute first half brace against FC Cincinnati. He makes his 25th start of the season tonight, looking to continue adding to his 2021 goal haul of seven. He'll be joined in attack by Fabian Herbers and Ignacio Aliseda.
- Rounding out the defensive back line are Mauricio Pineda, Miguel Navarro, and captain Jonathan Bornstein.
- 17-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina makes his eighth-straight start in net tonight.
- Available to Klopas as substitutions today are goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, defender Wyatt Omsberg, defender Jhon Espinoza, defender Johan Kappelhof, midfielder Luka Stojanović, midfielder Brian Gutiérrez, midfielder Alex Monis, forward Elliot Collier, and forward Chinonso Offor.
- Defender Carlos Terán (right thigh), defender Francisco Calvo (health & safety protocols), and goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm (right knee) are out due to injury for tonight's match.
- Forward Stanislav Ivanov will miss tonight's match as he recently returned to Europe for his U.S. Green Card appointment. Ivanov is expected to miss the next two matches, including tonight's game.
Get a look at Real Salt Lake's starting lineup below as it becomes available: