MLS: Fire aim to topple St. Louis City for second time in five days

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The Chicago Fire will host St. Louis City SC on Saturday afternoon following a busy and tumultuous week.

The Fire (2-3-5, 11 points) are off to a disappointing start to their MLS season, a stretch that includes a 3-0 loss to Nashville SC last Saturday. Two days later, Chicago fired coach Ezra Hendrickson and moved Frank Klopas from assistant coach to the interim position.

“We just said, ‘Look, a season can slip away quickly,’ and we really thought that we had to change now. … There’s never a good (time) for such a decision. It’s always a difficult moment,” Fire sporting director Georg Heitz said.

Klopas previously coached the Fire from 2011-13, and also served as an interim head coach for the team late in the 2021 season.

The Fire already have banked one positive result in Klopas’ tenure, defeating St. Louis 2-1 on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup play. The two teams will have a quick rematch in their first-ever meeting in MLS league action.

“It’s always tricky coming up against (an opponent) twice, but it’s easier from a game planning perspective because we don’t have to now watch tons and tons of video. We’ve just had them in front of us,” St. Louis City coach Bradley Carnell said.

St. Louis City (6-3-1, 19 points) reside in second place in the Western Conference. After beginning their first MLS season with a perfect 5-0-0 record, St. Louis City have gone 1-3-1 in their past five league games.

The Fire are unbeaten in six home games this season (1-0-5), while St. Louis City are 3-1-1 on the road.

St. Louis City were slated to face FC Dallas last Saturday, however severe weather halted play after 50 minutes. St. Louis City and Dallas will resume the scoreless game on June 7.

Jonathan Dean (adductor) isn’t available for Chicago’s lineup Saturday. Rafael Czichos (adductor), Maren Haile-Selassie (concussion) and Carlos Teran (leg) also are questionable due to injury.

–Field Level Media

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