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Chicago Fire Weekly Update - April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire News Release

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will play its first Friday home match of the 2019 regular season when the team hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC at SeatGeek Stadium on April 12. Scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT, Friday's match against Whitecaps FC will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and transmitted locally on Univision Radio WRTO AM 1200. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. CT with a live pregame show on ESPN+ presented by CIBC.

Entering Friday's contest, the Fire (1-2-2, 5 points) are coming off a 2-2 away draw against Eastern Conference club Toronto FC, extending its unbeaten run to two matches in league play. Midfielder CJ Sapong and forward Nemanja Nikolic each scored in the draw. Sapong's finish, which was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week for Week 6, marked his team-leading third goal of the season (WATCH). Nikolic's goal in the 62nd minute was his first tally of the season and the 40th of his MLS career (WATCH). Since joining the league in 2017, Nikolic has scored the second-most goals (40) in MLS regular season play behind only Atlanta United FC's Josef MartÃ-nez.

Friday's match will mark the 10th meeting between the Fire and Whitecaps FC in regular season action since the Cascadia side's expansion season in 2011. During that stretch, the Fire have posted a 2-1-2 home record against Vancouver, scoring five goals and conceding just one. In the Men in Red's last home match against Vancouver, the team posted a strong 4-0 clean-sheet win on July 1, 2017. Nikolic leads all Fire players with goals scored (three) against Whitecaps FC.

Whitecaps FC (0-4-1, 1 point) venture into Friday's contest searching for its first win of the season. In the team's most recent match, Vancouver fell 2-0 to the LA Galaxy at BC Place on Friday, April 5. In three games played away from home this season, Whitecaps FC have tallied an 0-2-1 record.

Club Connections

Veteran goalkeeper David Ousted will face Whitecaps FC for the first time as a member of the Chicago Fire. Prior to joining the Men in Red, Ousted spent five seasons (2013-17) with Vancouver, appearing in 142 matches (142 starts) and tallying 42 clean sheets during that stretch. While playing with Vancouver, Ousted notched a career-high 13 clean sheets in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Additionally, his honors with Whitecaps FC also included two MLS All-Star selections (2015, 2016).

Chicago Fire defender Marcelo and Whitecaps FC forward Fredy Montero spent the 2018-19 Portuguese Primeira Liga campaign together as teammates with Sporting CP. Both players have appeared in five matches with their respective teams to start the 2019 MLS season.

Chicago Fire Collectible Roster Card

The Chicago Fire is providing a new matchday item to fans this season. For all 2019 home games, the Fire will produce and distribute a collectible roster card that will feature a different Chicago Fire player each week.

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Major League Soccer Stories from April 8, 2019

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