Prior to the international break, the Fire went winless in their last five matches. After a convincing 2-0 victory at Q2 Stadium against Austin FC in the U.S. Open Cup at the end of May, the Fire hit a rotten patch of form. Some of the highlights included an embarrassing 4-1 loss in the U.S. Open Cup quarter-final to the Houston Dynamo on home turf and a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew that came from a 93rd minute goal from 50 yards out.
Hopefully the Fire have used the international break as a time to re-group and prepare themselves for this crucial second half of the season. Although the playoffs seem like a massive long shot with the Fire currently sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference, a post-season is mathematically possible if the Fire can get results in their remaining 17 matches.
In terms of injuries for the Fire, Chris Mueller, Carlos Terán, and Javier Casas Jr. remain ruled out while Maren Haile-Selassie’s inclusion is questionable. While Xherdan Shaqiri is fit and healthy, the Swiss international is coming off of an international break where he played heavy minutes for his national team, so it is unlikely that Klopas will start the Fire’s number 10.
For Portland, David Ayala, Yimmi Chará, Felipe Mora, Juan David Mosquera, and Erik Williamson are all ruled out of tonight’s match.
Chicago Fire FC vs. Portland Timbers
MLS Matchday 20 | Wednesday, June 21 | Providence Park, Portland, OR
Kickoff: 9:30 PM CST
Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Radio: 890 WLS-AM (English), TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)
Commentators: Callum Williams (play by play) and Danielle Slaton (analyst)