FC Cincinnati will compete on the road for the fourth time in 15 days Saturday when the Orange and Blue take on Chicago Fire FC. Kickoff on Saturday, May 14 from Solider Field is set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
FC CINCINNATI AT CHICAGO FIRE FC – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2022 – 8 p.m. ET – SOLDIER FIELD
HOW TO WATCH
Local TV: Star64
Local Stream: fccincinnati.com
Out of Market Stream: ESPN+
Radio: ESPN 1530
Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst), Alex Stec (sideline)
Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.
HEAD TO THE WATCH PARTY OR A PUB PARTNER
An official watch party will be held at Rhinegeist located in OTR. Rhinegeist has a large craft beer selection for fans and a pre-match party starting at 7:30 p.m.
Fans can also catch the action at one of 14 official Pub Partners located across the region. Pub Partners are presented by Coors Light. The FCC Street Team presented by Cliffs will join the party this Saturday at The Pub at Kolping beginning at 7:30 p.m.
SCOUTING CHICAGO FIRE FC (2-4-4, 10 PTS., 14th EASTERN CONFERENCE)
Chicago Fire FC are led by first-year head coach and MLS veteran Ezra Hendrickson, who took over the club this offseason after three years as an assistant in Columbus. He has ties to FC Cincinnati’s Pat Noonan, as the duo was part of the 2008 Columbus Crew squad which won MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.
Hendrickson coaches a squad currently in last place in the Eastern Conference, but just four points away from seventh place and the MLS Cup Playoffs cut line.
The Fire have scored just seven goals this season, tied with Vancouver for the fewest in MLS. But Chicago is not short on star power, led by veteran Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri. 17-year-old Gabriel Slonina has gathered international attention for his impressive play, and his five clean sheets are tied at the top of MLS.
Former Philadelphia Union forward Kacper Przybyłko has missed the past two games with a back injury, and he will miss Saturday’s contest as well. The Polish forward is tied with Shaqiri for most goals on the squad this season with two. Another former Union man, Fabian Herbers, helps lead the Fire attack, as he just returned last week at Atlanta as a substitute after missing nearly the entire month of April.
Chicago have not earned a win since March 19, a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City. Since then, the Fire are 0-4-2 and have not scored more than one goal in a game. Chicago is coming off a 4-1 defeat last Saturday at Atlanta United FC.
STORYLINES OF THE GAME
LOOKING FOR FOUR IN A ROW
The Orange and Blue made history last Saturday night by winning a third consecutive game, the first time FC Cincinnati had accomplished that since entering MLS. Now the club aims for four-in-a-row over a successful stretch which has resulted in nine points to bump FC Cincinnati into fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
FC Cincinnati will look to erase Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup result from their memory quickly, a 5-1 defeat at the New England Revolution. This Saturday at Chicago will conclude a 15-day stretch where FC Cincinnati played five games across all competitions.
FCC AGAINST THE FIRE
The Orange and Blue are 2-2-2 all-time against Chicago Fire FC, including 2-1-0 in the Windy City. The Fire are one of two clubs FCC hold a winning road record against (CF Montréal: 2-1-1). Last time the sides met in Chicago on June 23, 2021, Álvaro Barreal’s 50th minute free kick was the game-winner in a 1-0 win for FC Cincinnati.
FC Cincinnati lead all of MLS in expected goals (22.37), expected assists (14.78) and in key passes (107) entering this weekend of MLS competition. Midfielder Luciano Acosta has been vital to the success in each of those categories. He leads MLS this season in creating chances with 42 key passes.
MLS TEAM OF THE WEEK TRIO
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta, goalkeeper Roman Celentano, and Head Coach Pat Noonan were all named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 10.
Celentano has an opportunity to face off against former Indiana University teammate and Fire Homegrown player Victor Bezerra, who made his MLS debut last Saturday at Atlanta as a second half substitute.
FC Cincinnati enter Saturday having tallied 89 goals, and have received five own goals, for a total of 94 goals scored in MLS regular season play. The club has scored 47 goals on the road in their MLS history.