Today is the final day of phase one in the MLS regular season restart. This afternoon, Columbus Crew SC is in the Windy City taking on the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. It’s been a long while since the Black & Gold have played at the historic stadium since the Fire have changed back to playing at the Bears’ home rather than in Bridgeview.
Columbus is on fire heading into the game. The Crew has won seven of its first 10 games and has only conceded two goals all season. A win today would be a third straight and would ensure the second three-game winning streak of 2020.
As for the Fire, this is a team in desperate need of three points. Chicago is on a three-match winless run and currently sits in last place in the Eastern Conference. The Fire’s last game was a 2-1 defeat at Soldier Field to the New England Revolution.
The Crew is top of the MLS power rankings on ESPN. A look at the predicted starting XI for this afternoon. A new episode of the Massive Report podcast where we preview today’s contest. Adam Miller scouts the Chicago Fire. Everything you need to know about the Crew’s next three matches. Pat Murphy discusses the emergence of Eloy Room as a top goalkeeper.
Crew (4-2-3-1): Eloy Room; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Milton Valenzuela, Artur, Fatai Alashe, Luis Diaz, Pedro Santos, Derrick Etienne Jr., Gyasi Zardes
Fire (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth; Boris Sekulic, Mauricio Pineda, Francisco Calvo, Miguel Navarro, Alvaro Medran, Gaston Gimenez, Djordje Mihailovic, Ignacio Aliseda, Fabian Herbers, Robert Beric
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Defender Vito Wormgoor is OUT with an ankle injury.
Fire: Goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm is OUT with a torn ACL. Midfielder Luka Stojanovic is out with an MCL injury. Defender Johan Kappelhof is OUT with a hip flexor. Midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr is OUT with a knee injury. Forward Elliot Collier is QUESTIONABLE with an undisclosed injury.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2020, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois)
TV: Univision, TUDN, Twitter (English commentary)
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: DAZN App
1. Columbus Crew (10 GP, 23 pts)
2. Toronto FC (11 GP, 21 pts)
3. Philadelphia Union (10 GP, 18 pts)
12. FC Cincinnati (10 GP, 9 pts)
13. Inter Miami (10 GP, 8 pts)
14. Chicago Fire (10 GP, 8 pts)
Around the league:
Phase one concludes this weekend with seven other MLS games today and four more on Sunday. In the East, the noticeable games include a Florida Derby in Orlando between Orlando City and Inter Miami plus an east coast clash featuring the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution.
Tomorrow will be the big Western conference games to end phase one. We’ve got a top-three table clash in Kansas City as Sporting faces Minnesota United and then at Banc of California Stadium, LAFC host the Portland Timbers at 11:00pm on Sunday.
Last five matches:
August 20, 2020: Columbus Crew 3, Chicago Fire 0 (MAPFRE Stadium)
August 31, 2019: Columbus Crew 1, Chicago Fire 1 (MAPFRE Stadium)
July 17, 2019: Chicago Fire 2, Columbus Crew 2 (Toyota Park)
August 23, 2018: Chicago Fire 1, Columbus Crew 1 (Toyota Park)