CHICAGO – The month is over halfway done yet Chicago Fire FC will only be stepping on the pitch for the first time on Saturday evening.
That’s what the MLS international break gave the club as many players around the league took part in Euro 2020. For Chicago Fire FC, it came after a defeat at Soldier Field in what’s been a rough start for the club, so it gave head coach Raphael Wicky and others a lot to think about.
But the chance to get things going in the right direction starts on Saturday night when the Fire takes the field for the first time in June.
The club will take the field in Columbus to face the Crew Saturday evening at 6:30 PM in a game you can watch on WGN-TV. It will be historic in a few ways, first because the hosts will be playing their final game in Historic Crew Stadium, which has been their home since 1999.
It will also be the first match for the club called by famed play-by-play announcer Arlo White, who initially was going to call games on WGN-TV in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club will also pay tribute to the Juneteenth holiday with a holiday-inspired jersey for the occasion. After the match, these will be auctioned off to benefit the “My Block, My Hood, My City” organization in Chicago.
As the Fire come off the break, they’ll have some catching up to do after starting the season 1-5-1, with their only victory coming against Inter Miami CF on May 22nd at Soldier Field. The club lost their match to CF Montreal on May 29th at home before going on the break.
While the club is facing the reigning MLS champions off the break, they will have the benefit of homefield for the next month-and-a-half. The Fire have six of their next eight matches at Soldier Field, including four-straight after Saturday’s contest with Columbus.
Getting points will be at a premium for the club is they hope to work their way back into the playoff hunt the rest of the summer. At the moment, the Fire sit seven points in back of Nashville SC for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
“We obviously know that the start of the season was bad, that the results weren’t there and the points weren’t where we want them to be. That’s a fact,” said Wicky. “So right now we’re focusing game-by-game. The next game’s Columbus and that’s the most important one.”