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The Chicago Fire got a nice boost heading into Wednesday’s match against the New York Red Bulls: Both Kacper Przybylko and Jairo Torres are both fully healthy, and are able to play.
It means we could see the Fire’s best XI on the field for the first time in 2022. With the team winless in the last two months, that news is more than welcome.
“When you put a team together, you want to have all the right pieces,” Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson told CHGO. “We think we have all the right pieces, but we haven’t had them all available at the same time, whether it be injuries, red card suspensions, it’s been a rough first 11 games, or so. Hopefully all that’s behind us now.”
The Fire and Red Bulls meet for the second time in 18 days. Last time, the Red Bulls came away 2-1 winners at Soldier Field with both Rafael Czichos and Jhon Durán being sent off within four minutes of each other.
“We put ourselves in a good position then to win, or at least get points, but with two red cards that wasn’t the case,” Hendrickson told CHGO. “If we clean up all this indiscipline, not getting reds, make sure we keep 11 guys on the pitch, keep a consistent 11 on the pitch, I think we’ll see progress going forward.”
Shaqiri top earner in MLS
Fire Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri is the highest paid player in Major League Soccer by a giant margin, according to salary data published today by the MLS Players Association. Shaqiri is making $8.15 million in 2022, putting him more than $2 million above the next highest player–the LA Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. The Fire have at least four players above the $1 million mark: Shaqiri, Gastón Giménez ($2.3 million), Czichos ($1.3 million) and Przybylko ($1.2 million). The list doesn’t include Torres or Chris Mueller, who both recently joined the team.
|Miguel Ángel||Navarro||Chicago Fire||D||$200,000.00||$247,000.00|
|Javier||Casas Jr.||Chicago Fire||M||$84,000.00||$85,900.00|
Shaqiri has two goals this season, both from penalties, and a handful of assists.
Gaga called in by Poland
The Fire’s Gaga Slonina was one of five goalkeepers called into Polish National Team camp on Tuesday. As of now, there’s no word whether he’ll accept the call up, or whether he will also earn a call up to the United States Men’s National Team camp for the upcoming June international window.
The situation is fluid, and just because Slonina chooses one camp over the other doesn’t mean he’s obligated to play for that country. That said, he could end speculation and announce his national team decision this week. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to watch for sure. If Slonina accepts, he’ll be joined in camp by former Fire teammate Przemyslaw Frankowski.
CHGO Fire Podcast
We’ll surely discuss these topics and more when we record the next addition of the CHGO Fire Podcast. You can watch us live on our CHGO Sports YouTube channel Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. CT, or listen later wherever you get your podcasts.
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