The Chicago Fire will start their 21st season a little later than anticipated. Colorado’s participation in the CONCACAF Chmapions League has moved their match originally scheduled for March 3rd to June 13th (the night before the World Cup begins). Instead, the Fire will open at home on March 10th against Sporting Kansas City at 5pm. The Fire will be the home opening opponent for Minnesota United on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th).
With 23 teams in the league, the Fire will still play each Western Conference team once (12 games) and each Eastern Conference team at least twice. The Fire will play Columbus and Toronto three times hosting the former twice while traveling to BMO Field to face the latter twice. Each team will receive a bye weeks throughout the season. The Fire will have one on March 24th and then have a three-week break between games on August 25th and September 16th. There will just be a nine-day World Cup as opposed to lasting the whole of the group stage.
Twenty-five of the 34 matches will be on a Saturday while five will be on a Wednesday and four on a Sunday, including three of the last four matches (two of which against DC United). The Fire will make their maiden journey to Audi Field on October 7th in a match televised on ESPN. That is their only appearance on ESPN. There is just one appearance each on FS1 (9/16 vs. ORL) and UniMas (5/20 vs. HOU) and four appearances on UDN. The local broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.
The Fire will welcome former head coach Bob Bradley on September 29th at Toyota Park when Los Angeles FC come to town for the first time.
Once again, the Fire’s 21st season will begin on Saturday, March 10th at Toyota Park against Sporting Kansas City.