United FC-Fire Preview
Chicago Fire boss Raphael Wicky took the positives from a 3-3 draw with Philadelphia Union last time out, a game which represented a fourth without a win.
Fire lost their three matches before the topsy turvy encounter with the Union, in which they were pegged back by a late penalty.
The run has left them bottom of the Eastern Conference, seven points behind Atlanta United, who visit Soldier Field on Saturday.
"We have to take the positive from this, we have to analyze what we have to do better and then keep working and keep trying to do the similar things, taking the positive out of it," Wicky said after the draw with Philadelphia.
"That's all we can do. Go to train every day and keep working on trying to repeat this performance. I think mentally, hopefully that gives the players confidence because obviously we spoke about that last time, when you don't win many games, your confidence level of an athlete goes down very, very quickly. So hopefully, this gives them confidence."
While Wicky will hope for a turn around in fortunes, Atlanta's Brooks Lennon will be aiming to continue his fine form.
Only Carles Gil has created more chances than Lennon (33) throughout MLS so far this season, and Lennon hailed the impact Gabriel Heinze has had on his game.
"We have a new coach that I've learned a lot from already and I continue to learn every day from," Lennon said.
"It's great that he was an outside back, so I can learn a lot from him through just the position itself."
Chicago Fire - Medran
Medran assisted two of Chicago's goals against the Union, his first two assists of the campaign.
Atlanta United - Brooks Lennon
Lennon crafted six chances in Atlanta's clash with the New York Red Bulls last time out, though he could not inspire them to a victory, as it finished 0-0.
- The home team has won seven of the eight all-time MLS meetings between Chicago and Atlanta, including a 3-1 victory for the Five Stripes at home on April 24. The lone away result in this fixture was a 2-1 Atlanta United win at the Fire in May 2018.
- The Fire's draw with Philadelphia on Saturday continued their slow start to the season, with just five points from 10 games. Chicago and Toronto are both on five points through 10 games, the first time in the post-shootout era (since 2000) that two teams have had five or fewer points after 10 games of a season.
- Atlanta drew the Red Bulls, 0-0, on Sunday, its fourth draw in the last five matches (L1). Atlanta is on its third winless run of at least five matches since August 2020 after going five or more matches without a win just once in the team's first 3+ MLS seasons (including playoffs).
- After scoring once in their previous seven games, the Fire scored three times in their draw with the Union on Saturday. When Boris Sekulic scored in the 56th minute, he was the first Fire player other than Luka Stojanovic to score since Robert Beric scored five minutes into the season against New England in April.
- Atlanta failed to score in each of its last two matches, against New York City and the Red Bulls. The Five Stripes have gone three straight games without a goal just once in their MLS history, doing so in their three matches during the MLS is Back Tournament in July 2020.
Updated July 2, 2021