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After a heartbreaking loss at home this past weekend, the Fire will have a quick turnaround as they travel to play the New York Red Bulls for the second time in 18 days in Harrison, NJ Wednesday night.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for in the Gerber Collision and Glass Scouting report as the Fire embark on a three-game road swing…

LAST TIME OUT

The Red Bulls won the first meeting of the season less than three weeks ago by a score of 2-1, despite Chicago having a 1-0 lead deep in the second half. This game featured a 90-minute weather delay and horrific playing conditions when the match resumed, with standing water littered all over Soldier Field.

Chicago got started after a handball was called on the Red Bulls’ Ashley Fletcher inside the penalty area in the first half. Xherdan Shaqiri buried the penalty, and Chicago were rewarded for a strong performance in the first half.

Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson set his team up well for success against the frantic nature of Gerhard Struber’s side and the overall style of Red Bulls, which as we know, is helter-skelter.

Jhon Durán and Chinonso Offor provided pace and good hold up play and allowed the Fire to not only play through the press, but over the top as well.

Despite dominating large portions of the game, New York got back into it via a solid build up and finish from Patryk Klimala. The rest was history, as Chicago saw both Durán and Rafael Czichos sent off before the Red Bulls won a penalty that was put away by Klimala and proved to be the game winner.

BIZARRE BUT TRUE

The Red Bulls have been stellar away from home this season. They started off their away-form with five straight wins on the road, becoming just the second team in MLS history to do so. They just recently came off another impressive road draw against the Philadelphia Union, who were in first place at the time. The Red Bulls went down early in the second half and got a red card in the 55th minute, but equalized and hung on for a hard-earned point.

Struber’s band of merry road warriors have been world-beaters outside of the state of New Jersey, but can’t seem to win at Red Bull Arena…go figure.

CHANGES

Even though this is the second meeting in a short span, the Fire look very different with Chris Mueller and Young Designated Player Jairo Torres having since arrived.

Mueller, the Schaumburg, IL native, made his first start for Hendrickson this past weekend and put in a solid 70 minutes of work before being replaced by Torres, who made his MLS debut.

These two have immediately added a tremendous amount of quality and depth to this Fire team, which has been barking for a spark in the attacking third.

Chicago fans will also be happy to hear that Kacper Przybyłko is fit and traveled with the team. Given the fact he has missed the past few weeks, I would expect him to make an appearance off the bench if anything.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Chicago certainly feel they owe the Red Bulls after they came into their house just 18 days ago and stole three points in a game in which the Fire did enough to get a result.

Given the fact everyone in MLS knows how the Red Bulls will set up, it becomes more about 50/50s, winning your individual battles, and being smart about when to play over the press or through it.

I thought the Fire did an excellent job of balancing this out for the most part, and have even more quality at their disposal this time around. I would have to imagine the message from the coaching staff will be more of the same - with a tad more discipline. Before the weather delay, the Red Bulls failed to create any chances of real value, so this should give the boys plenty of confidence that they can steal three points.

Red Bull Arena is also the site of Chicago putting an end to a 2+ year winless streak away from home. There will be plenty of positive juju in the Jersey air if you believe in that sort of thing.

Tony and I will see you on WGN and CF97 Live at 6:30 pm CT.