The Chicago Fire injury report is absolutely littered with regular starters heading into Saturday’s clash with Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (4 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live). Gastón Giménez will miss the match with a hip issue, and Brian Gutierrez, Fabian Herbers, Kacper Przybylko, Carlos Terán, and most surprisingly Jairo Torres are all questionable.
The Torres injury came as a big surprise to fans. At Torres’ introductory news conference on Tuesday, Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson said the club’s new Young Designated Player would play this weekend, but apparently an injury flared up at Wednesday’s training, and CHGO broke the news that Torres did not take part in training Thursday. Unless things have improved, it looks likely that the 21-year-old Mexican star will wait to make his debut next weekend at Soldier Field.
Chicago’s other big addition this week, Schaumburg’s Chris Mueller, should receive at least some minutes against Atlanta. The Fire are winless since March 19 against Sporting Kansas City, and have just four non-penalty goals all season, so Mueller’s offensive firepower is a welcome addition. Atlanta is also on a slide, coming in to Saturday’s match winless in their last four.
Also remember: After picking up red cards last week in the 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls, captain Rafael Czichos and forward Jhon Durán are both suspended for this one.
If the Fire are able to score some goals, they’ll be doing it against an old friend. After Brad Guzan (who is, of course, the second-most famous bald guy from Homer Glen working in soccer next to CHGO’s Alex Campbell) went down with a torn Achilles a few weeks ago, it was former Fire man Bobby Shuttleworth sliding into his spot. Knowing he’d be stuck as a number two behind Gaga Slonina, Shuttleworth turned down an offer from the Fire at the end of last season in search of playing time. With Guzan’s unfortunate injury, Bobby’s now the No. 1 in net for the Five Stripes.
Jonny B’s 200th
Fire defender Jonathan Bornstein’s next appearance will be his 200th in MLS (reg. season & playoffs). Only three players have reached that mark at a later age than Bornstein currently is (37 years, 181 days as of May 7): Pat Onstad (41 years, 186 days), Preki (38 years, 360 days), and Donovan Ricketts (38 years, 113 days). With Chichos out and Terán questionable, you have to figure there’s a fair chance Bornstein slots in at left centerback next to Wyatt Omsberg, especially if Mauricio Pineda is dispatched in midfield to cover for Giménez.
Some Gameday Reading
We’ve been busy at CHGO this week!
- Monday: CHGO’s Fire coverage kicks off with a column from Patrick
- Tuesday: Jairo Torres is introduced as a Fire player
- Wednesday: Patrick and Alex debut the CHGO Fire Podcast
- Thursday: CHGO interviews new signing Chris Mueller about his childhood memories playing against Mauricio Pineda
- Friday: This very preview you’re reading right now
Remember! If you subscribe to CHGO, you get access to all our Fire content, all of our other premium written content covering the Bulls, Bears, White Sox, Red Stars, Cubs, Sky, and Blackhawks, PLUS we’ll throw in a t-shirt of your choice! Want to show CHGO you care about Fire coverage? Subscribe!
How to Watch
Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire
MLS Match Day #10 | Saturday, May 7 | Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CT
Streaming: CF97 Live (available for free on the Fire’s app and website for local area fans), ESPN+ (for out-of-market fans)
Talent: Tyler Terens (play-by-play), Tony Meola (color commentary)
Live Twitter Updates: @CHGO_Fire (make sure you’re following us!)
Fire Injury Report
QUESTIONABLE: Brian Gutierrez (left knee), Fabian Herbers (right hip), Kacper Przybylko (back), Carlos Terán (left lower leg), Jairo Torres (left hip)
OUT: Spencer Richey (head), Gastón Giménez (right hip), Alex Monis (right ankle)
Atlanta Injury Report
QUESTIONABLE: Dom Dwyer (leg), Caleb Wiley (lower body), Santiago Sosa (lower body), George Campbell (abductor)
OUT: Brad Guzan (Achilles), Josef Martinez (knee), Machop Chol (leg), Ozzie Alonso (ACL), Dylan Castanheira (Achilles)
Next Up for Chicago
Saturday, May 14 | Chicago Fire vs. FC Cincinnati | Soldier Field, Chicago | 7 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live
Wednesday, May 18 | New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire | Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ | 6:30 p.m CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live
Sunday, May 22 | New York City FC vs. Chicago Fire | Citi Field, Queens, NY | 4 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live
Saturday, May 28 | Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire | BMO Field, Toronto, ON, Canada | 6 p.m. CT, WGN-TV, CF97 Live
Both teams are beat-up, and both teams are in need of a win. I’ll say neither one gets it. This one will end 1-1.