170608 Match Preview

Match Preview: Atlanta United at Chicago Fire

On Saturday, Atlanta United head to Chicago for their second contest of the year against the Fire. Last time out, the expansion side swept all three points, bagging four goals and a clean sheet, so Chicago will be seeking revenge as they try to capitalize on home field advantage this weekend. Atlanta (5-5-3) are looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat in Vancouver, meanwhile Chicago (7-3-4) are hoping to make it seven-straight unbeaten. You can catch all the action this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST on UniMás or via Facebook LIVE on Univision.

Atlanta United (5-5-3)

The Five Stripes are off to a strong start to their inaugural season, battling through a tough road schedule and finishing strong in May with a three-match unbeaten streak. Last week Atlanta made the cross country journey and traveled north of the border to face Vancouver, and despite the 3-1 defeat, Atlanta remain arguably the most dangerous team in MLS as the highest scoring team across the league with 28 on the year.

Atlanta’s number 10 Miguel Almirón leads the scoring charge with seven goals thus far and week after week showcases his unmatched poise and vision on the ball, proving he’s one of the top maestros in the league. The Paraguayan has been absent from training this week due to his international duty but will meet up with his club in Chicago and will be at Tata Martino’s disposal for Saturday’s matchup.

Another major contribution to Atlanta’s high-flying attack has stemmed from the wing play of young league newcomers Yamil Asad and Julian Gressel. The two lead the team in assists with a combined total of 12 and they will certainly be looking to add to that tally in Chicago.

Josef Martinez continues to train with the team, still yet to clock minutes since being sidelined with a quad injury in March. The last meeting between Atlanta and Chicago was his most recent MLS appearance where he notched two of the four goals to help ATL UTD cruise past the Fire. It’s possible we could see Martinez make his return to the field to face Chicago.

Chicago Fire (7-3-4)

Night and day -- 2016 to 2017 for the Chicago Fire. After finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference last year with the lowest number of points in the entire league (31), Chicago has reassembled their squad and turned their form around with 25 points already this season and a 2nd place position in the conference table through 14 weeks of MLS action.

On Saturday, as Chicago host Atlanta United, the Fire are seeking a seventh-straight match unbeaten while also looking to remain undefeated at Toyota Park this year. Key to their astonishing revival this season has been the addition of Nemanja Nikolić, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty as well as the returning stellar form of forward David Accam.

Hungarian DP Nikolić has bagged 11 goals so far, leading his team and the league and even earned MLS Player of the Month in May. Chicago’s Accam was always their glimmer of hope through their tough season last year and he’s again showing why he’s one of the best forwards in the league, tallying seven goals and leading his team with 4 assists. Reinforcement in the midfield has come by way of two veterans, Schweinsteiger and McCarty, however, Chicago will have to compete without McCarty this weekend due to his U.S. Soccer international call-up for their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. 

Listen & Watch – Saturday, June 10 | 4:00 p.m. ET




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