The Chicago Fire are back on the road Saturday night for a pivotal Eastern Conference meeting with Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE. With kickoff slated for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+, get familiar with head coach Veljko Paunović's starting XI and bench below, presented by AT&T:
- The Fire will begin the match with two changes made from last Saturday's 2-1 road defeat against the New England Revolution.
- Midfielder Aleksandar Katai returns to the first XI having completed a two-match suspension for a red card infraction in the Fire's Aug. 14 meeting with the Portland Timbers. He slots in for the injured CJ Sapong, who entered the match listed as questionable (ear).
- After announcing the birth of his second child earlier this week, Bastian Schweinsteiger is back in the starting lineup having missed last weekend's trip to New England.
- Having notched his team-leading 10th assist of 2019 last weekend, midfielder Nicolás Gaitan will hunt for more helpers from the outset this evening in his 23rd Fire appearance.
- Midfielder Brandt Bronico extends his career-high mark for single-season appearances by getting his 25th of the season tonight.
- Forward Nemanja Nikolić saw a four-match scoring streak snapped last weekend, but will look to add to his team-leading 11 goals from the opening whistle tonight.
- Przemysław Frankowski makes his fourth-straight start, his 20th in 26 appearances in 2019.
- Ahead of departing for Under-23 U.S. Men's National Team camp, midfielder Djordje Mihailović is available for selection off the bench this evening. Should he be called upon as a substitute, it would mark the 20-year-old's 50th appearance for the Fire.
- Defender Francisco Calvo will also leave for international duty at the conclusion of tonight's match as Costa Rica prepares to host Uruguay in a friendly on Sept. 6. Calvo get his 17th start of the season tonight after scoring his third goal for the Fire last weekend against the Revolution.
View the full Starting XI and bench for both sides in the graphics below as they're available: