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"Let's fight with them": Can the Chicago Fire stay alive in Montreal?

Patrick McCraney Avatar
September 12, 2022

The Chicago Fire will have little time to rest after their 3-1 victory over Inter Miami Saturday night at SeatGeek Stadium. The team travels to Quebec Monday after training, to take on CF Montreal in a rare Tuesday night MLS match.

The playoff math isn’t kind. Even after the win, the Fire are still six points back of the Columbus Crew for the seventh and final playoff spot, and the Crew have a game in hand. It still appears the Fire will need to win out in their final four matches, including Tuesday, to have a shot at the postseason. Even then, the Fire would finish on 47 points, and the Crew are tracking to finish around 48.

“Coming into these last games, we told them, guys, this is a challenge,” Fire coach Ezra Hendrickson said after the victory over Inter Miami. “But we can’t back down from it, you know, we’re going to face it. A lot of these teams that we’re going to play are fighting to do the same thing that we’re trying to do: that’s get into the playoffs, get above that line. So let’s fight with them, you know?”

With the two draws on the road prior to the Miami victory, the Fire are unbeaten in their last three. Jhon Durán was dangerous up top in the win over Miami, and you have to figure, despite the quick turnaround, that Hendrickson will give him the nod at the No. 9 again. But with injuries mounting, who else will be able to go again on such a short turnaround? Hendrickson will have some tough decisions to make.

Other matches to watch

There’s no scenario that would see the Fire officially eliminated until the weekend, but it could get far more grim. The Crew visit Inter Miami Tuesday night, where a victory would see them hit 44 points. A Chicago loss in Montreal would mean the Fire could max out at 44, but 5th place Orlando City and 6th place FC Cincinnati both sit at 42. Orlando plays Atlanta Wednesday, and Cincy’s idle until the weekend.

The big problem: both Miami (9th, 36 pts.) and Atlanta (10th, 36 pts.) are ahead of the Fire, as well. That means Fire fans should probably cheer for a draw in both Miami-Columbus and Orlando-Atlanta.

Shaq’s No. 8!

MLS released its annual list of the top selling player jerseys, and Fire star Xherdan Shaqiri checks in at No. 8. Here’s the top ten:
1. Gareth Bale (LAFC)
2. Christian Fuchs (Charlotte FC)
3. Carlos Vela (LAFC)
4. Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (LA Galaxy)
5. Josef Martínez  (Atlanta United FC)
6. Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC)
7. Karol Świderski (Charlotte FC)
8. Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire FC)
9. Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
10. Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

How to Watch

CF Montreal vs. Chicago Fire

MLS Match Day #31 | Tuesday, September 13 | Saputo Stadium, Montreal, Quebec

Kickoff: 6:30 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/Avery Labels enthusiast), Tony Meola (color commentator, U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer)

Follow Us! @CHGO_Fire

Injury Reports

Chicago

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

Montreal

  • OUT: Tomas Giraldo (foot)
  • OUT: Ahmed Hamdi (right leg)
  • OUT: Lassi Lappalainen (adductor)

Next Up for Chicago

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

Montreal comes in as a heavy favorite according to our friends at PointsBet: -140 for a Montreal win, +290 for a draw, and +360 for a Fire victory. This one feels like a safe bet for Montreal, but midweek games are sometimes very strange. We’ll say it ends 1-1.

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