SEATTLE – On October 6th, 2019, they walked off the field in Orlando after a 5-2 victory, and in the process ended an era of the franchise.
A number of the players that were on the pitch that day for the Chicago Fire wouldn’t be returning the next season along with the man who was leading them. But that was only part of the wholesale changes made by the club to give it a fresh look for a new decade.
A change in name, logo, home venue, coach, and players would signal a reboot that some felt was needed in hopes of reinvigorating a team that endured a mostly rough 2010s.
Now branded as Chicago Fire FC, that new era begins on Sunday as the team takes the pitch at Centurylink Field to open their 2020 Major League Soccer season against the defending league champion Seattle Sounders at 2 PM CST.
New head coach Raphael Wicky leads a new-look group onto the field that features a number of international acquisitions made after the new year, led by striker Robert Beric. Midfielder
Przemysław Frankowski, forwards Djordje Mihailović, CJ Sapong, defenders Francisco Calvo and Johan Kappelhof highlight some of the returning members of the team.
Fans won’t get the chance to see the group at Soldier Field until late March as the Chicago Fire FC opens with three games on the road. On Saturday, March 7th, the team visits the Revolution in Foxborough then face Orlando City FC seven days later, with both of those games on WGN-TV as part of a new broadcast agreement.
The Soldier Field opening game is Saturday, March 21st against the 2018 MLS Champions Atlanta United FC.