The MLS is back, again. The Chicago Fire returns to MAPFRE Stadium for the first time this year with a new name and new logo for the first matchup for both clubs in Phase 1 of Major League Soccer’s second return-to-play.
Columbus Crew SC is coming off a nine-point group stage performance and leads the Eastern Conference and the league with 13 points on the season. Chicago finished the MLS is Back Tournament in fourth place in Group B, tallying one win and two losses.
Injuries were another story of the tournament, with defender Vito Wormgoor suffering an ankle injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future. Goalkeeper Eloy Room and winger Youness Mokhtar sustained injuries as well during the group stage, with no official update on their availability. The official MLS injury report lists Room as questionable (but it hasn’t been updated since July 24 and has been altogether unreliable this year with teams not having to provide injury updates).
Since the MLS is Back Tournament, the Crew made three additions, acquiring defender Grant Lillard from Inter Miami, winger Emmanuel Boateng from D.C. United and midfielder Fatai Alashe from FC Cincinnati.
With the games coming fast once again, and the team not having suited up in three weeks, it will be interesting to see how the Black & Gold line up against Chicago.
With the league resuming play, Massive Report brought back the Supporters’ XI for the Phase 1 return. Let Caleb Porter know who you think should be in the starting 11 against the Fire below. Before Thursday’s match, we will publish your lineup, along with the lineup for a writer from Massive Report.
If the new signings arrive this week and train, should they be given a chance to play? Does Josh Williams or Aboubacar Keita get the nod on the backline? That and more is for you to decide.