After the Chicago Fire suffered a sixth straight road loss on Saturday, the Fire get to return home.
The Fire host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. The match will be televised on CSN with coverage starting at 7 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live before the game starts at approximately 7:30 p.m. The match will also be simulcast with a Spanish language call on CSN+.
While the Fire (3-8-5, 14 points) are coming off a forgettable 1-0 loss in Toronto, Sporting KC (8-8-4, 28 points) has won two in a row and is 3-1-1 in its last five matches.
“They’ve had a lot of success over the last few years,” midfielder Michael Stephens said. “They’ve been a playoff team, played in championships, they have some international players in Graham Zusi and Matt Besler so we got to be ready for a tough game.”
Zusi and Besler have not been at the heart of Sporting’s recent run and may not even factor in at Toyota Park. Zusi is listed as questionable with a hamstring strain and did not play in Sunday’s 3-1 win against New York City FC. Besler came on as a sub in the July 3 win against Columbus in his first game back from the Copa America Centenario, but did not play against New York City.
Leading goal-scorer Dom Dwyer (eight goals) also didn’t play on Sunday due to suspension, but will be available on Wednesday. Benny Feilhaber, Brad Davis and Roger Espinoza are the marquee names in Sporting’s midfield.
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“I think they play very good as a team,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said. “I think they have very good pace. In every line they are very well balanced. They have that toughness that we are also looking for. I think we have it, too, but the level they have and especially a team that plays together for a long time.”
As for the Fire, Matt Polster is expected to return, either in a starting role or off the bench, after being out since suffering a concussion in the U.S. Open Cup against the Indy Eleven on June 15. Michael de Leeuw could make his first start for the Fire after debuting as a sub in Saturday’s loss.
Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City
When: 7:30 p.m. (coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live)
TV: CSN (simulcast on CSN+ in Spanish; channel finder)
Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.