Two of the East’s best go head-to-head in the Windy City. Here are the Benjamin Moore three keys to the match for Saturday night’s clash with the Chicago Fire.
If there were ever a time to hand the Chicago Fire their first home loss of the season, Saturday night would be a likely candidate.
Not only are the Reds catching Chicago in a bit of a rut (the Fire have won just once in their last six matches), but they’ll be facing a battered defensive unit.
The Montreal Impact comprehensively dispatched Chicago midweek at Stade Saputo, meaning the Fire will be on short rest come Saturday night. What’s more, defenders Matt Polster and Brandon Vincent remain in doubt after missing Wednesday night’s match, and defender Joao Meira was forced off via injury in the loss.
With the Chicago defence significantly weakened, the Reds will look to take advantage.
It would be impossible to talk about these two clubs without mentioning their prowess in the midfield.
For Chicago, the offseason addition of Dax McCarty has proved to be one of the savvier pieces of business in MLS as the veteran has instantly shored up the middle of the park with his defensive bite and composure on the ball.
Stationed next to him is German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger who has quickly acclimated to the game in North America. The duo can be largely credited with Chicago’s resurgence in 2017 and cannot be overlooked.
The Reds counter with a formidable midfield of their own, as Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado and Victor Vazquez continue to impress. Their skillsets complement each other brilliantly, as Delgado’s engine allows Bradley to play in his preferred, deep-lying role while Vazquez pulls the strings higher up the pitch.
Whichever side dominates the middle of the park on the night should be the side that walks away with all three points.
Beware of Accam
You can’t teach speed, and winger David Accam has plenty to burn.
The Ghanaian has been terrorizing MLS defences since joining the Fire in 2015 and was the lone bright spot for the lowly Fire in his first two seasons. But with the team significantly improved, Accam is enjoying his best season to date, bagging 12 goals and 7 assists in his 22 games played.
Reigning MLS Player of the Week Justin Morrow will have his hands full on the night as he will have to pick his choose his moments to get forward, lest the speedy Accam get some space in behind.