The Fire’s last match against Nashville, a deflating 3-0 defeat away from home, was also Ezra Hendrickson’s last. Following the defeat, the then Fire manager was fired as Frank Klopas was handed his duties.
Tonight’s match is the Fire’s first home game since the international break, marking the end of their three-match away run that saw them win back-to-back away matches for the first time in a decade. The Fire were unfortunately foiled from going three for three during this away stretch as they were handed a 3-1 loss to Orlando City in their last match.
Last time out against Nashville, it was Nashville’s ace, Hany Muhktar, who sunk the Fire as he put three past Chris Brady. The attacking midfielder leads his side with 13 goals this season and the Fire will need to certainly bring their A game to Soldier Field if they want any chance of a result tonight.
A certainly devastating omission to the Fire’s defensive effort to stop Muhktar is the suspension of Arnaud Souquet, who was sent off in the 84th minute against Orlando last weekend. On top of Souquet, Federico Navarro is ruled out with a lower leg injury. The ball-winning midfielder will certainly be missed tonight and the Fire will need to find some sort of defensive cover in central midfield to neutralize Muhktar.
Other injuries for the Fire include Javi Casas, Wyatt Omsberg, Victor Bezerra, and Chris Mueller (season-ending injury).
For Nashville, Nick DePuy is out for the season, while Aníbal Godoy and Jacob Shaffelburg are representing their nations in the Gold Cup. US international Walker Zimmerman will also miss tonight’s match through suspension.
Chicago Fire FC vs. Nashville SC
MLS Matchday 22 | Saturday, July 8 | Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Kickoff: 7:30 PM CST
Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Radio: 890 WLS-AM (English), TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)
Commentators: Mark Followill (play-by-play) and Danielle Slaton (analyst)