Red Bulls-Fire Preview

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The New York Red Bulls get four players back after being a bit short-handed for last weekend's match during the international break.

While it will be nice to have some reinforcements, it's always a positive for the Red Bulls when Bradley Wright-Phillips suits up against the Chicago Fire.

Wright-Phillips looks to extend his astonishing scoring streak against a Fire team that expects to see transfer Nicolas Gaitan make his MLS debut on Saturday.

The Red Bulls (1-1-1) are looking to bounce back from a surprising 1-0 home loss to previously winless Orlando City. In suffering its first home league loss since July 28, New York managed just nine shots after totaling 37 in its first two games. What made the defeat even more painful is former Red Bull Sacha Kljestan scored the lone goal in the 73rd minute.

"We didn't bring our good stuff on the night," coach Chris Armas said. "People that come out and support us all the time, we didn't give them what they deserve."

While the loss stung, the Red Bulls have a prime opportunity to bounce back with the return of Aaron Long, Kaku, Kemar Lawrence and Michael Amir Murillo from international duty, coupled with Wright-Phillips facing a team he routinely frustrates.

Wright-Phillips, who has a goal through two league matches this season, has scored in each of his last six games against the Fire across all competitions, and has notched a point in each of his last nine contests Chicago, tallying eight goals and a pair of assists.

The Red Bulls have also enjoyed recent success in Chicago, going 3-0-2 in their last five trips, outscoring the Fire 10-4. Although it won 1-0 at Chicago last August, the Fire won 2-1 at New York in April, dealing the Supporters' Shield winners one of only two losses at Red Bull Arena last season.

The Fire (0-2-1) are once again off to a slow start but the club will be motivated and supporters will be raucous with the highly anticipated debut of Gaitan.

The 31-year-old Gaitan, who has made 19 appearances for the Argentina national team, arrived in Chicago on Thursday after finishing with two goals and seven assists for Dalian Yifang of the Chinese Super League.

"We are here to help him find his form and perform the best he can, enjoy soccer in this country and help our team to achieve our goals," Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said. "We have to work all together to prove that he is one of the best players to ever play in this league."

Despite being winless through three games for the sixth time in seven years, the Fire have played better than their record indicates. They've outshot each of their first three opponents while also finishing with a higher possession percentage in each of their first three.

In its last game - a 4-2 loss to Seattle on March 16 - Chicago battled back from a 3-0 deficit to pull within one before the Sounders' Raul Ruidiaz thwarted the comeback bid with a goal in the 88th minute. The Fire dominated play down the stretch and finished with 25 shots with 12 on goal - both their most since July 2017.

"They're a team that's desperate already early on this season but also a team that's better than their results show," Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis said. "I think that they have a lot of dangerous pieces. They're pretty good with the ball, very good in possession, and so it's not going to be an easy task at all."