CHIvCIN match preview

Match Preview: Chicago Fire

Standing beneath The Bailey after beating the Houston Dynamo, FC Cincinnati Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet said the win was significant and could be a turning point for the Orange and Blue in 2019.

On Saturday night, the club tests that theory when it plays at the Chicago Fire, the tenth-place team in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are only one point outside a playoff spot, which means it’s a matchup with a huge opportunity to make up points. 

Including last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Houston, Cincinnati are in the midst of playing three of their next four games at Nippert Stadium. If the club can make their home venue a fortress – and get a result in Chicago – the Eastern Conference standings could see some movement during July. 

“We want to confirm the good performance we had against Houston,” Damet said. “We want to make sure we produce the same type of content against them and that we can show we can get results away from home.”

FCC are coming off their best offensive performance since March 17 when they beat the Portland Timbers 3-0. Before the Houston game, Cincinnati’s last win was May 11 against the Montreal Impact.

What all three of those matches have in common as they were at home. Now, the team is looking for its first away win since March 24 at the New England Revolution.

“Finally, a positive feeling after a win,” center midfielder Leo Bertone said. “We’re still working harder for this weekend … I hope we can take this positive energy. We have to defend good and we have to be patient and take our opportunities.

Match Info

FC Cincinnati at Chicago Fire

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

Where: SeatGeek Stadium

Weather Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 75 degrees

TV: WSTR Star64 (CW Cincinnati for DirecTV customers)

Local Video Stream: FloFC

Out of Market Video Steam: ESPN+

Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM)

Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com

Player to Watch and his Health Carousel Player Resume

Opponent’s Player to Watch: Midfielder Nicolas Gaitan

Signed via a free transfer earlier this season, Gaitan has had a phenomenal start to his first season in MLS. So far, he’s played in 15 games and had three goals and eight assists.

When Chicago beat Atlanta United FC, 5-1, on July 3, the Argentine midfielder had one goal and three assists. That said, it’s worth noting that he hadn’t recorded an assist since May 29, nor a goal since May 11, before that win over ATLUTD.

Club Connections:

  • Former FC Cincinnati captain and current Strength and Conditioning Coach Austin Berry was the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year with Chicago. Between 2012-13, he made 62 appearances for the Fire.
  • Cristian Martinez spent a short loan spell with FC Cincinnati in 2017, when Kekuta Manneh and Martinez were teammates at Columbus Crew SC.
  • Manneh and David Ousted were at Vancouver Whitecaps FC from 2013-17. Additionally, Kendall Waston (2014-2018) and Darren Mattocks (2013-16) played with Ousted and Vancouver Ousted and Mattocks reunited at D.C. United in 2018.
  • Eric Alexander and Dax McCarty played for the New York Red Bulls in 2013 and 2014.
  • Alexander and Amando Moreno were teammates at New York Red Bulls in 2013.
  • Greg Garza and Moreno were at Tijuana together from 2014-16.
  • Nick Hagglund and Raheem Edwards were teammates at Toronto FC in 2016 and 2017.
  • Jimmy McLaughlin and C.J Sapong were teammates with the Philadelphia Union in 2015.
  • Victor Ulloa and Richard Sanchez played together at FC Dallas from 2011-14.
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