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Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 21

Toyota Park — Bridgeview
July 21 - 7 pm ET

WATCH: TSN 1/4, ESPN+

Two teams coming off midweek cup competition victories square off at Toyota Park Saturday night as the Chicago Fire, fresh off a 4-0 victory over Louisville City FC in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, host a Toronto FC side that knocked off Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0, in the opening leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals.

This is the second meeting this season, with the teams playing to a 2-2 draw at BMO Field on April 28. Jonathan Osorio and Victor Vazquez gave TFC a 2-0 lead after 22 minutes, but Bastian Schweinsteiger pulled the visitors to within a goal in the 69th minute and Alan Gordon leveled deep in second-half stoppage time.

Chicago Fire

For the second time in three years, Chicago (6-10-5) reached the USOC semifinals, easily defeating Louisville City, 4-0, at Toyota Park on Wednesday.

Nemanja Nikolic opened the scoring in the 16th minute, with a glancing header off a Aleksandar Katai cross and then Katai doubled the lead in the 32nd minute on a terrific individual effort. Diego Campos and Elliot Collier tacked on late goals as Louisville City finished with nine men.

“In the Open Cup, obviously you don’t have a second chance so I think there was a little more urgency in this game and a little bit more focus,” Veljko Paunovic said. “We are going to use this game as a good reference how to play every single game, not only in the Open Cup, but in our league.”

  • Suspended: D - Drew Conner
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Kevin Ellis
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury), D - Grant Lillard (right quad injury), D - Kevin Ellis (left calf contusion), D - Rafael Ramos (left ankle injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Elliot Collier, Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Campbell, Jorge Corrales — Dax McCarty, Brandt Bronico — Diego Campos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Aleksandar Katai — Nemanja Nikolic

Toronto FC

Toronto FC (4-11-4) opened up defense of their Canadian Championship title in the right way Wednesday night, defeating the Ottawa Fury, 1-0, at TD Place Stadium in the opening leg of their semifinal series.

Osorio scored the game’s lone goal in the 5th minute, with a low shot that snuck inside the near post. The critical away goal puts the Reds firmly in the driver’s seat with the second leg set for BMO Field in a week’s time.

“For us, we met our objective for the night. Last year, we came here and didn’t get the result we were looking for. Tonight we came, we got a shutout, got the away goal,” Greg Vanney said. “We’re leaving pleased, we set ourselves up with a position to try and finish the series at home next week. From that standpoint, we’re pleased.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Jozy Altidore (foot surgery), D - Drew Moor (quadricep strain), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring strain), GK - Caleb Patterson-Sewell (elbow injury), D - Auro (hamstring strain), D - Jason Hernandez (hamstring strain), M - Victor Vazquez (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Alex Bono — Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow — Nicolas Hasler, Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley, Ryan Telfer — Jordan Hamilton, Sebastian Giovinco

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 9 wins, 41 goals … Toronto FC 9 wins, 42 goals … 8 draws
  • At Chicago: Fire 5 wins, 17 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 14 goals … 5 draws
  • Last meeting at Chicago: Chicago Fire 1, Toronto FC 3 (Aug. 19, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Armando Villarreal

Read More

Current Form

Chicago
Toronto FC

Season Stats

Chicago FireToronto FC
21Games Played19
6Wins4
10Losses11
5Draws4
33Goals30
41Goals Conceded38
172Shots221
91Shots on Target103
230Fouls committed156
199Fouls suffered206
52Offside40
92Corners96

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
CHI28830331.6
TOR54541301.6
01234+Avg
CHI143301.7
TOR312211.7
01234+Avg
CHI145001.4
TOR233201.5

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
CHI26652412
TOR25723382
01234+Avg
CHI233121.8
TOR143011.6
01234+Avg
CHI033402.1
TOR114222.4
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