Their fortunes looking up, the Chicago Fire have a chance to put together a two-game winning streak Saturday at Toyota Stadium, their home pitch. To do it, they’ll have to contain Los Angeles Galaxy’s recent arrival, high-scoring striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and a Galaxy team hungry for its first road win of the season.
“Ibra” debuted two weeks ago, entering the game against Los Angeles FC in the 70th minute with his team trailing 3-2. All he did was score twice, including a volley from 40 yards for the equalizer that ended up as the MLS goal of the week, and could end up in the running for goal of the year. His game-winner came off a header in injury time.
After that rousing come-from-behind victory, though, the Galaxy stumbled, shut out by Sporting Kansas City in a 2-0 loss.
Ibra, who played the final 28 minutes against SKC, could see his first start against the Fire, who are coming off their first win of the season, and who will rely on their own offensive powerhouse, 2017 Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic.
Nikolic got his fourth tally of the season in the 1-0 win last Saturday over the Columbus Crew. That win followed Chicago rallying for a 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers to right the ship after opening the season with two losses.
An interesting subplot Saturday will be in former Manchester United teammates Ibrahimovic and Chicago’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, shifted recently to sweeper from midfield, facing each other for the first time in MLS.
The Fire could be without midfielder Mo Adams, and defensemen Jonathan Campbell and Kevin Ellis, who are all questionable. Midfielder Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D Jorge Corrales (infection), D Matt Polster (MCL sprain) and forward Luis Solignac (left quad) are out.
The Galaxy will be missing forward Bradford Jamieson (concussion). Forward Giovani dos Santos and D Michael Ciani are questionable for the match.
—Field Level Media