The Chicago Fire look to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they host LA Galaxy on Saturday at Soldier Field.
The Fire (2-1-3), who were down to 10 men before halftime, fell 1-0 at Orlando City last week. Ercan Kara's header in the 59th minute was only the second goal allowed by Chicago goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, and the first time the Fire have trailed in a match this season. The 17-year-old Slonina made a season-high five saves in the match.
The Fire were without some star power with Xheredan Shaqiri (calf), Fabian Herbers (right hip), and Miguel Navarro (left knee) sidelined with injuries. Chicago captain Rafael Czichos also missed his second consecutive match due to MLS COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Czichos and Navarro returned to training this week, while Herbers and Shaqiri remain day-to-day, according to Fire manager Ezra Hendrickson.
Chicago will be without Brian Gutierrez, who will serve a one-game suspension following a first-half red card at Orlando. The 17-year-old homegrown midfielder filled in for Shaqiri.
If Shaqiri plays, it'll be a star-stunned showdown against LA's Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer. Chicharito's five goals are tied for the league lead with FC Dallas' Jesus Ferreira and FC Cincinnati’s Brandon Vázquez. LA also boasts Brazilian Douglas Costa, a former Bayern Munich, and Juventus player.
LA (4-2-0) enters the contest Saturday with two straight wins, 3-1 at Portland and 2-1 against rival LAFC. Samuel Grandsir assisted on first-half goals by Chicharito and Sega Coulibaly, and Johnathan Bond made six saves in the Galaxy's "El Trafico" victory.
How to Watch
What: LA Galaxy at Chicago Fire
When: 7 p.m. CT, Saturday
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
Live Stream: MLS Live on ESPN+, CF97 Live