Of Manager and Men | Klopas and Brady Ahead of Saturday’s Match Against Montréal 


It’s back to the confines of Soldier Field for Chicago Fire FC. 

The Fire host their second home match of 2024 and will welcome French-Canadian side CF Montréal for the first of two occasions this season. 

Ahead of Saturday’s home contest, Head Coach Frank Klopas and goalkeeper Chris Brady spoke to the media and broke down various topics of conversation regarding the match against Montréal.  

Early day at the office 

Saturday will see a rare early afternoon match this weekend for Chicago Fire FC. 

With a 1 p.m. CT kickoff against Montréal, the Fire are doing everything they can to gain a competitive advantage against their opponents north of the border. As a result, one of the more intricate changes is the practice change implemented by Klopas. 

Klopas switched all practice times to 1 p.m. CT this week to acclimate his side to playing around that time and adjust to the difference in weather.  

The Greek head coach credits his playing experience and the lessons he learned from former coaches he’s played for. 

“I go back with my Olympic team days with my coach, Lothar Osiander, and he just said, ‘Frank, specific adaptation to impose demand,’ Klopas said. “So when you go to Jamaica, and you play in the heat, we have to go train in the heat to kind of adjust and stuff like that. So, I think wherever, even when I was in Europe that we played games earlier or later in the year because of the heat and stuff like that, we trained later in the day just to be better prepared.” 

Klopas, mentioning weather and preparations, prefers the earlier fixtures. Again, mentioning his playing days, the Fire’s manager was always eager to get on the pitch.

klopas player dl

“If you ask me, I like afternoon games – if it's 3:00 or 5:00 p.m.,” Klopas mentioned. “I'm not a guy when I was a player to sit around all day waiting for matches, you know. So 5:00 p.m. matches would be great.” 

For goalkeeper Chris Brady, the young Homegrown prefers earlier games as well. Perhaps a trend among professional footballers, Brady also mentioned wanting to get the game started earlier out of excitement to compete. 

“I think the benefit is maybe you wake up, have breakfast and you get to go.” Brady said. “There's no time wasting. There's no waiting to see how the day might end up. So yeah, there's no time-killing. There's just wake up, breakfast, head to the stadium, play a game, and you've still got the rest of your day.” 

Trust the process 

At face value, it’s easy to see a 0-2-1 record for the Men in Red and focus on what is perhaps going wrong. Rather, the feeling in the locker room is optimism and trust. 

When asked about the team’s progress over the first three games of the regular season, Brady emphasized that no one has hit the panic button. Instead, the Fire are using the frustration of back-to-back losses to fuel their efforts to win a victory this weekend.

“I think each game we've grown a little bit.” Brady said. “Obviously with the first few games being ones where you try and build chemistry as best you can, but I would say that the scores themselves haven't been representative of the efforts and the outcome of what we've put out on the field.” 

The Fire started their season with the toughest initial three fixtures in the league. A defending MLS Cup champion, a defending Supporters’ Shield winner, and a 2022 MLS Cup finalist.  

In each of those matches, the Fire put themselves in position to contend. That ability to compete shows growth and promise for the team. 

“I know that there's a lot of people talking about the actual points we've gotten away from those three games,” Brady prefaced. “But I will say that I have seen growth, the coaches have seen growth, and us as players have seen growth in the chemistry, effort, and tactically and technically what we are trying to do on the field.” 

He added, “It quickly turns into motivation when we get right back into the work week.” 


One of the other key storylines to watch out for this weekend is midfielder Gastón Giménez, who currently sits at 99 matches played – all of which have been with Chicago Fire FC.  

If Giménez appears this weekend against Montréal, he will become the 32nd Argentine-born player in Major League Soccer history to reach the centennial mark.  

More impressively, he’ll be the first to do it a Chicago Fire uniform.

Since his arrival to the Windy City in 2020, Giménez has recorded three goals and eight assists for Chicago and he’s coming off a goal and two assist campaign in 2023.  

So far this season, Giménez has appeared in every game for the Men in Red, playing in three games, and starting in the first two of the season. 

As Saturday quickly approaches, keep an eye on the Argentine midfielder to potentially reach another career milestone along the lakefront.