Chicago Fire

The Fire make their season opener at home versus FC Cincinnati

Chicago is coming off a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union


Feb 24, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Fire FC midfielder Brian Gutierrez (17) celebrates with midfielder Maren Haile-Selassie (7)] and forward Hugo Cuypers (9) after scoring against the Philadelphia Union during the first half at Subaru Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Fire is set to make their debut at home on Saturday when they take on FC Cincinnati. The Fire earned a point in their season opener, a 2-2 result against the Philadelphia Union.

While the draw away to the Union isn’t a poor result, the Fire will be looking to pick up their first win of the season and what better opportunity to do it than in their first game at Soldier Field.

One of the issues the Fire is hoping to improve on is consistency.

“I think it’s important, coming off a really big point on the road against Philly, to follow that up with a good performance. We’ve talked about being consistent and I think there’s no better place to follow that game up with this opening match at home,” head coach Frank Klopas said.

Given some of the changes to the roster, it’ll be an opportunity for the fans to see some of those new faces.

“I think it also gives an opportunity for our fans to see the new players. To see some of the changes. We’ve talked about a team that wants to bring more energy, be dynamic on the field and being here, especially at home, in front of our fans, like I said, there’s only one opening match in the season.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us, in our performance, the way we approach the match, the commitment, the energy, the hard work, everything the Fire fans expect to come out and showcase that, there’s no better place to do it than at home.”

The Fire are going to showcase everything Klopas mentioned against Cincinnati.

Despite being held to a scoreless draw by Toronto FC in their opening match, Cincinnati is coming off a very good 2023 season. They finished first in the Eastern Conference, winning the Supporters’ Shield, and finished the season with the most points in MLS.

Cincinnati is by no means an easy opponent but it’s an opportunity for the Fire to measure up against the best team in the league last season and to make home field advantage count.

“One of the things we talk about this year is just trying to win every game,” said center-back Mauricio Pineda. “That’s our priority. Approaching every game knowing we can win every game. Having played away last weekend we wanted to win the game. Maybe thought we could have come away with three points but that’s the approach to every game this year.

“Being aggressive, looking for those results in away games and home games but it’s more important for us. We should be having a better record at home so that’s something we’re focusing on and working hard to get good results at home and make our fans proud.”

Last season, the Fire drew 3-3 against Cincinnati at Soldier Field with Cincinnati winning the reverse fixture 1-0. The Fire have a record of three wins, four losses and three draws against Cincinnati.

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