Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati return home Saturday to host Chicago Fire FC

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FC Cincinnati turn the calendar to June looking to extend the club’s five-game winning streak on Saturday, June 3 to take on Chicago Fire FC. Kickoff from TQL Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. as the club celebrates Pride, presented by Procter and Gamble.

Saturday’s match will feature another sellout at TQL Stadium for the seventh time in nine regular season games this season. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and get in their seats to make the TQL Stadium atmosphere raucous as the Orange and Blue look to continue the club’s MLS-best, unblemished 8-0-0 home record in 2023.

The Orange and Blue have never beaten the Fire at home. The Fire are one of five Eastern Conference clubs Cincinnati have never defeated in the Queen City. The two sides hold an even 3-3-3 record against each other since FCC joined MLS in 2019.

Saturday’s game will stream exclusively, for free, on Apple TV. With the match being at home, fans watching on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV will have the option to switch to the local ESPN 1530 home radio broadcast as their audio source. The radio feed can also be found on SiriusXM FC 157.


Stream: Apple TV (Free)
TV Talent (English): Jenn Hildreth (play-by-play), Dan Gargan (analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Jose Hernandez (play-by-play), Pablo Marino (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530 and SiriusXM FC 157.
Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

Saturday’s match is available to watch for free on the Apple TV app, with no subscription required. Fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530 and on SiriusXM FC 157.

To switch to the home radio audio on the broadcast:

  1. Click on the live FC Cincinnati match in MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
  2. Click on the radio button located in the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. Choose “Home Team’s Local Radio: English” to listen to FCC’s local broadcast during the match.

For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit

Don’t forget to swing by Washington Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. for a number of free activities leading up to kickoff, including live music, food trucks, drinks and activities. At 6:30 p.m., fans can join the high-energy march into the stadium with smoke, drums and chants.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early and get in their seats for special pre-match presentations throughout the stadium.

Because of anticipated hot temperatures, each fan through the gates may bring one (1) sealed, non-refillable clear water bottle into TQL Stadium.

For a full list of gameday activations and TQL Stadium information, including activations surrounding Pride, visit the matchday guide, HERE.

The all-time series between Cincinnati and Chicago could hardly be more even, with the record between the sides sitting at 3-3-3 entering the 10th MLS fixture on Saturday.

Saturday marks the first rematch this season in MLS play for FC Cincinnati. The two clubs played to a 3-3 draw on March 18, with the Orange and Blue scoring twice late in the 84th and 87th minutes to rescue a road point.

The Chicago Fire are looking for a spark as they enter the weekend matchday. The Fire have played to three straight draws over the last two weeks, splitting points with Atlanta United FC, the New England Revolution and Toronto FC. Chicago are fighting to get out of the bottom half of the Eastern Conference table and currently sit on 17 points through 15 matches.

It is no surprise that Kei Kamara leads the Fire with four goals on the season, as the forward ranks third all-time in MLS goals (143). But Kamara has not scored since April 29 in a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls and needs support up top. Midfielder Maren Haile-Selassie has helped with production, scoring two goals in his last four league appearances.

Young talent Brian Gutiérrez is turning heads around the league as the former Fire Academy product pulls the strings out of the midfield. Gutiérrez, just 19-years-old, has tallied five assists through 14 appearances this season including two over the last three to help the Fire earn much needed points.

Despite the efforts from Kamara and Gutiérrez, the Fire have suffered a few setbacks. Attacker Chris Mueller has been ruled out for the rest of the 2023 season after undergoing hip surgery last week and Xherdan Shaqiri has yet to score a league goal in 2023.

Chicago have conceded 24 goals, that total is tied for the third most in the East. The Fire have allowed eight goals over their last four and have just three clean sheets this season.

The Fire parted ways with head coach Ezra Hendrickson following a 3-0 loss to Nashville SC in May and appointed Frank Klopas as acting manager for the remainder of the 2023 season. Klopas has experience within the Fire system, having served as the club’s head coach from 2011-13 and in an interim capacity in 2021.

BACK TO THE FORTRESS – After three on the road, FC Cincinnati return to TQL Stadium for the first of two home games in four days.

FC Cincinnati are an MLS-best 8-0-0 at TQL Stadium this season, and 10-0-0 across all competitions at home. Cincinnati are the third team in MLS history (post-shootout era) to win their first eight games to start a season at home. A win on Saturday would match Philadelphia Union’s nine-game winning streak at home in the 2020 season as the second-best in MLS history.

The MLS record is 10-straight wins to begin the season at home, set by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2002.

THE WINNING STREAK – FC Cincinnati are on a club-record five-game winning streak, the longest active streak in MLS and tied with St. Louis CITY SC (February 25 – March 25) for the longest this season.

The longest such streak last season was set by eventual MLS Cup Champions LAFC at seven (July 8 – August 16).

THE FASTEST IN MLS HISTORY – After defeating NYCFC on Wednesday, FC Cincinnati have produced the most points (36) through the first 15 games of a season in MLS history, excluding the shootout era.

Cincinnati enter Saturday with an eight-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield and Eastern Conference standings over Nashville SC (28 points).

50 AT THE HELM – FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan will manage the Orange and Blue on Saturday for the 50th time in his MLS regular season career. In his first 49 games with FCC, Noonan has compiled a regular season record of 23-10-16.

DIFFERENCE IN TEMPERATURES – With temperatures potentially reaching into the 90s on Saturday at TQL Stadium, the backdrop provides a stark contrast to the first meeting between Cincinnati and Chicago in 2023.

Back on March 18 at Soldier Field, the snowy starting temperature of 22°F marked the coldest temperature at kickoff for an MLS match in FC Cincinnati’s history.

ON SHORT REST – Saturday will mark the eighth time since the start of the 2022 season that FC Cincinnati will play on two days rest. Under Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati are 5-0-2 when playing a game just three days following another.

HAVING THE FIRST SAY – Opponents have scored on FC Cincinnati first just once this season (April 15 at St. Louis CITY SC). Every other team in MLS have conceded first in an MLS game at least twice this year.

COMING DOWN THE STRETCH OF A BUSY STRETCH – Saturday marks FC Cincinnati’s sixth of six games in an 18-day span which began with the CF Montréal match on Wednesday, May 17. The Orange and Blue will end up playing eight games in 25 days from May 17 to June 10.

The stretch is polar opposite from 2022. Last season, FCC was in a break at this time, with three weeks between road games at CF Montréal (May 28) and Philadelphia Union (June 18).

Head Coach Pat Noonan on the team depth and if the results are surprising
“In some ways, yes. It's not easy when you have a congested schedule, and you're rotating guys, and it's two or three pieces that are constantly being changed. Whether it's every other game, or two out of three games, that's not easy for guys to step in, with that number of rotations, and continue to have success and win games. So I'm really impressed and pleased with the fact that we've been able to rotate and I think the level has still remained high and the confidence has still remained high for us to go and win a game. So I think the group's in a good place, certainly with the competition on our roster and the way guys are challenging each other each day for positions and minutes, and I think they're doing it in a really healthy way."