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Question Exchange with Hot Time in Old Town

We reached out to Pat McCraney and our SB Nation friends over at Hot Time in Old Town to talk about the Union’s upcoming match against the Chicago Fire Saturday evening.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Where is Chicago’s main strength? How do they punish opponents?

Despite the Fire’s record over the last couple of seasons, they do move the ball quite well, and they create scoring opportunities. They do this especially well early in matches. Against the Revolution, the Fire had a couple sequences of 10+ passes that led to goals.

2.) Who’s Chicago’s player to watch/who’s the underrated player not too many people talk about?

After finishing second in MLS with 12 goals last season, Robert Beric gets a lot of attention. He’s good, but keep an eye on Luka Stojanovic, the Fire’s central attacking midfielder. Stojanovic blew out his knee at MLS is Back last season after playing only a handful of minutes. He’s off to a hot start this year with two goals. Stojanovic presses well, scores goals, and creates opportunities.

A thing to remember about the Fire: if they don’t score early, they have a hard time scoring at all. Lately, once a mental error defensively costs them a goal, the heads go down and the legs grow heavy. They rarely ever battle back, but they drop points from leading positions quite a bit. Something to watch, for sure.

3.) Chicago, like the Union, has zero wins so far this season. How important is it for the team to earn their first this weekend?

The Union has the Concacaf Champions League success and last year’s Supporters’ Shield to lean on. The Fire don’t have much of anything. Chicago is winless over their last nine games dating back to last season, so a win would be massive to get this ship steering in the right direction.