The Chicago Fire will face the New York Red Bulls on July 18 at Red Bull Arena. The Fire won their last game against the Red Bulls with 3-1 on June 17. Chicago will be forced to play without Arne Friedrich, and it could have an impact on the match.
There has been some confusion among fans about the start time of the July 18 game. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EST and will be available on the Comcast SportsNet. It is not clear why MLS has decided to use an early start time, but the Red Bulls are rumored to have requested this.
No Arne Friedrich
The Chicago Fire will not be able to use Arne Friedrich on July 18, but it is important to note that he was also not part of the lineup during their last match against the New York Red Bulls on June 17. Friedrich will be serving a one game suspension for obtaining a red card during the July 14 game. Unfortunately, his absence may be felt more on July 18 because Sebastian Grazzini will not be playing.
The Chicago Fire are currently ranked in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points. The New York Red Bulls are only one point ahead with 32 and ranked in third place. The Fire and the Red Bulls have the same total number of wins this season with 9. However, away games tend to be more difficult for Chicago, and their last win against New York was at home.
Who will Frank Klopas use?
Head coach Frank Klopas is waiting to release his starting lineup for the July 18 game, but speculation started on July 14. Klopas will probably rely on Alex and Rolfe again because he used both of them at the last match with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Since Arne Friedrich is unavailable, fans may see Austin Berry play. The Chicago Fire claim that Marco Pappa has recovered from the infection that forced him to miss the game on July 14, so he will be a possible option for the lineup.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.