The next chapter is underway.
Chicago Fire FC lost a 2-1 heartbreaker at the Seattle Sounders in Week 1, getting out to a 1-0 lead early in the second half before the reigning MLS champions scored a stoppage-time winner. Chicago now turns the page to matchday 2, when the Club visits the New England Revolution (12:30 p.m. CT | WGN-TV; ESPN+) in the second of three away matches to start the 2020 campaign.
Revolution Record: 0-1-0 (0 points, 10th East)
Revolution Last Match: Lost 2-1 at Montreal Impact
New DP Forwards
The Revolution and Fire will send new Designated Player forwards into the fray on Saturday. New England’s Adam Buksa and Chicago’s Robert Berić each made their MLS debuts last week, with Berić notching his first Fire goal just 46 minutes into his tenure. A 21-year-old Polish youth international, Buksa arrived from Ekstraklasa side Pogón Szczecin this past offseason, while Slovenian international Berić transferred from French Ligue 1 club Saint-Étienne.
Speaking of MLS debuts, 22-year-old Fire Homegrown midfielder Mauricio Pineda went the full 90 on Saturday. The University of North Carolina product completed 53 of 57 passes (93 percent), had three tackles, one interception and 12 recoveries. Chicago was without two of its new DP midfielders in Ignacio Aliseda and Gastón Giménez, but Pineda’s promising performance bodes well for head coach Raphael Wicky.
Revolution playmaker Carles Gil missed New England’s season-opener at Montreal last weekend with a foot injury that he’s been recovering from during preseason. His status for this weekend is questionable, which would be a huge loss for the Revs and a big opportunity for Chicago. The 27-year-old Spaniard was last season’s MLS Newcomer of the Year after scoring 10 goals and delivering 14 assists. MLS recently named him No. 8 on its list of 2020’s top 50 players.
Players to Watch
- Gustavo Bou: New England’s other DP forward, the Argentina Bou flew somewhat under the national radar last season in his first year with the Revs. After joining in July, he scored nine goals in 14 matches.
- Matt Turner: The Revolution goalie finished fifth in last season’s MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting and is one of the league’s best pure shot-stoppers.
- Teal Bunbury: The 11-year MLS veteran and former United States international scored the Revs’ lone goal last week and is still one of New England’s most reliable offensive contributors.
Matchup to Watch
Fire forward Robert Berić vs. New England center back Henry Kessler: Look for Berić, who got several good opportunities in Seattle, to find the back of the net again as he takes on the Revs’ rookie center back. New England selected Kessler, who started and went the full 90 against Montreal, with the No. 6 pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.