Chicago Fire FC Weekly Update: July 20-26
CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC will play its final group stage match in the MLS is Back Tournament against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Thursday, July 23. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. CT, the match will be televised nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200AM.
Entering Thursday's contest, the Fire (MLS is Back Tournament: 1-1-0, 3 points / MLS regular season: 1-2-1, 4 points) currently sit in third place in the Group B standings. With a win against Vancouver, the Fire would finish in second place in Group B and guarantee a berth in the Knockout Round. Additionally, Chicago can advance with a draw against Whitecaps FC, as the top four third place teams will also go through to the Knockout Round. To view the full group standings, click here.
Chicago began play in the tournament with an exciting 2-1 win over the defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders FC on July 14, receiving a goal from forward Robert BeriÄ and a goal and an assist from Homegrown rookie Mauricio Pineda. Pineda was also named to the MLS Team of the Week for the first time in his career.
Five days later, the Fire played its second match of the tournament against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 19, falling 2-0 after conceding twice in the second half. With the win, San Jose moved into first place in Group B with seven points, becoming the first team in the group to advance to the Knockout Round.
Vancouver enters Thursday's match coming off two straight losses in the group stage. Whitecaps FC opened the tournament with a 4-3 loss to San Jose on July 15, conceding the game-winning goal in the eighth minute of second half stoppage time. Most recently, the Canadian side fell 3-0 to their Cascadia rival Sounders FC on July 19.
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