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Match Storylines pres. by NovaCare: Fire homestand resumes against Seattle Sounders FC

In the second of three straight matches at home, the Chicago Fire welcome Western Conference visitors Seattle Sounders FC for a Saturday showdown at SeatGeek Stadium.

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Get the rundown on both sides ahead of the 12 p.m. CT kickoff on ESPN+ with the #CHIvSEA Match Storylines pres. by NovaCare:

In Form

Seattle enter Saturday's contest as one of only three MLS teams (LAFC, Minnesota United) to have begun their 2019 regular season campaign 2-0-0. Head coach Brian Schmetzer's men put down expansion side FC Cincinnati 4-1 on opening day, before shutting out the Colorado Rapids 2-0 last weekend. While very early, they currently lead the Western Conference on goal differential while sitting level at six points with LAFC and Minnesota United.


A trio of Sounders share the early team lead in goals scored this season. Jordan Morris, Kelvin Leerdam, and Raul Ruidiaz have each chipped in a pair of goals to help power Seattle to their current two-match win streak. Morris -- in his first match since returning from a February 2018 ACL tear -- netted a brace in Seattle's 4-1 win over FC Cincinnati on opening day, while Leerdam and Ruidiaz each enter the weekend heating up having scored in two straight.

Riding his own two-match scoring run is Fire forward CJ Sapong. Sapong got the first Fire goal of 2019 in the Club's 2-1 opening day road defeat to the LA Galaxy, before netting a dramatic stoppage time equalizer in last Saturday's 1-1 home draw against Orlando City SC.

In addition -- just two days after signing their own playmaking Nico -- the Fire will look to keep Sounders' midfield engine Nicolás Lodeiro contained. The Uruguayan international has already provided a pair of assists this season, picking up where he left off after racking up 16 of them (third-most in MLS) in 2018.

Americans in the Midfield

Djordje Mihailović and Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan were both part of new U.S. Men's National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter's first-ever January camp, held at the beginning of 2019. The pair started alongside one another in the U.S. midfield in both of the camp's friendlies against Panama and Costa Rica. Mihailović -- in his first camp with the full Men's National Team -- scored on his Stars and Stripes debut, a 3-0 victory over Panama on Jan. 27.

Prior Meetings

Last June, the Fire and the Sounders split the points in a 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field. Aleksandar Katai got the opening goal on a low, curling attempt from outside the 18 just nine minutes in, before Clint Dempsey equalized for the hosts in the 22nd minute.

Seattle last visited Chicago in 2017, a match that saw the Fire cruise to a 4-1 victory in front of a sold out crowd The fire are 2-7-4 all time against the Sounders as it stands, including a 2-3-2 record at home.