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Chicago Fire Soccer Club Weekly Update: July 22 - July 27, 2019

July 21, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire News Release

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will play two home matches in five days this week. On Tuesday, July 23, the Men in Red will begin play in the Leagues Cup when they take on LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals at SeatGeek Stadium. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+, TUDN (formerly Univision Deportes Network) and TSN GO.

Following the weekday match against Cruz Azul, the Fire will return to MLS regular season action when they take on D.C. United at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday, July 27. Scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on Univision Radio 93.5 Latino Mix. The ESPN+ pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin at 6:45 p.m. CT.

Tuesday's game - the first ever meeting between the Fire and Cruz Azul - will mark the Men in Red's opening game in the 2019 Leagues Cup. Leagues Cup is an annual competition between MLS and LIGA MX and features four clubs from each league in an eight-team single-elimination tournament. The additional MLS clubs in this year's tournament include the Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake. Representing LIGA MX, Cruz Azul is joined by Club America, Tigres UANL and Club Tijuana.

Saturday's match against D.C. United marks the second meeting between the teams this season. The Fire and D.C. United previously played to an exciting back-and-forth 3-3 draw at Audi Field on May 29. The Men in Red had three different goal scorers in the draw: forward CJ Sapong, midfielder Djordje Mihailoviæ and -- two minutes into second-half stoppage time -- defender Francisco Calvo.

D.C. United (9-6-8, 35 points) currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Heading into Saturday's game, D.C. has produced a 4-4-3 record in 11 league games played on the road this season. In its last three away matches, D.C. lost 2-0 at Atlanta earlier this afternoon, beat FC Cincinnati 4-1 on July 18 and lost 2-0 at FC Dallas on July 4. Forward Wayne Rooney -- a former teammate of Fire defender Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester United -- leads D.C. in goals (11) and assists (7).

Leagues Cup to Expand to 16 Teams in 2020

MLS and LIGA MX recently announced that the Leagues Cup tournament field will double in 2020 from eight participating teams to 16, evenly split between the two leagues.

The eight clubs from MLS will be comprised of:

The top four teams in the 2019 Eastern Conference standings NOT already qualified to 2020 Concacaf Champions League;

The top four teams in the 2019 Western Conference standings NOT already qualified to 2020 Concacaf Champions League.

The eight-team contingent from LIGA MX in 2020 will include:

2019 Apertura champion;

2020 Clausura champion;

2019-20 Copa MX champion;

The top five teams in combined Apertura 2019-Clausura 2020 standings NOT already qualified for Leagues Cup.

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