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Almost Toast: Chicago Fire-Inter Miami preview

Patrick McCraney Avatar
September 10, 2022

There was supposed to be one bit of joy in the Chicago Fire’s match with Inter Miami today. There was one fun storyline that would have–temporarily, at least–dulled the pain of watching the Fire’s inevitable march toward playoff elimination yet again.

The Fire’s Fabian Herbers was set to face Miami’s Gonzalo Higuain for the first time after making international headlines for trashing him on his podcast. Alas, Herbers is listed as out for the match with a hip issue, and we’ll be robbed of the matchup we all deserved.

Along with Herbers, the Fire will be missing Jairo Torres, Kacper Przybylko, Wyatt Omsberg, Gastón Giménez and Stanislav Ivanov, and may also be without Brian Gutiérrez who is questionable.

The Fire are now seven points out of the final playoff spot. With five games left, they’re still in a position where 13 out of 15 points (four wins and a draw) might do it, but it would likely take a five game winning streak for the Fire to crack the postseason, and even that’s not a sure thing.

“But for right now, the focus is on maximizing the points in these five games, and I think 15 points will put us at 47, which gives us a good chance,” Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson said this week. “It’s not improbable, it’s not impossible but it’s going to take some work from us. But that’s our focus.”

The Fire haven’t won since Aug. 6 in Charlotte. Since then, it’s been three straight losses, followed by two draws on the road. If the team fails to take all three points today, a third straight season under Georg Heitz and Sebastian Pelzer will almost assuredly be a failure, and owner Joe Mansueto should immediately fire the duo. (In case you missed it, the Sun-Times’ Brian Sandalow has joined our call for Heitz’s dismissal.)

How to Watch

Chicago Fire vs. Inter Miami

MLS Match Day #30 | Saturday, September 10 | SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL (the Fire were bumped to SeatGeek by the Bears’ season opener vs. the 49ers, which is Sunday at Soldier Field)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT

TV: WGN-TV

Streaming: CF97 Live (available for free at ChicagoFire.com or the Chicago Fire mobile app for fans watching within 75 miles of Soldier Field)

Out of Market Streaming: ESPN+

Talent: Tyler Terens (play-by-play guy/known by Chicago-area referees for using excessive dissent during adult league matches), Tony Meola (color commentator, U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer)

Follow Us! @CHGO_Fire

Injury Report

Chicago

  • OUT: Wyatt Omsberg (left foot)
  • OUT: Fabian Herbers (right hip)
  • OUT: Gastón Giménez (right thigh)
  • OUT: Jairo Torres (left lower leg)
  • OUT: Stanislav Ivanov (right quad)
  • OUT: Kacper Przybyłko (back)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Brian Gutiérrez (right thigh)

Inter Miami

  • OUT: Ian Fray (knee)
  • OUT: Robbie Robinson (hamstring)
  • OUT: Brek Shea (hamstring)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Leo Campana (quad)

Next Up for Chicago

Tuesday, September 13 at CF Montreal | Stade Saputo, Montreal, QC, Canada | 6:30 p.m. CT, WGN

Saturday, September 17 vs Charlotte FC | Soldier Field, Chicago | 7:00 p.m. CT, WGN

Saturday, October 1 at FC Cincinnati | TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH | 6:30 p.m. CT, WGN

Saturday, October 9 vs. New England Revolution | SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview | 1:30 p.m. CT, WGN

Prediction

PointsBet has the Fire as solid favorites at home (+105 for a Fire win, +260 for a draw, +250 for a Miami victory). Considering the Fire haven’t even scored a goal since the 4-1 loss to Philly on Aug. 13, that feels a bit optimistic. We’ll say Miami takes it 1-0.

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