CHICAGO FIRE AT SPORTING KANSAS CITY
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Saturday, at Children’s Mercy Park
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TV/RADIO: Fox Sports KC Plus; WHB (810 AM)
ABOUT CHICAGO FIRE (11-4-5, 38 points): The worst team in MLS in 2016 revamped its roster, most specifically the midfield, to trigger the league’s best turnaround. A year later, the Fire occupy second place in the Eastern Conference with the best goal differential (plus-17) in MLS. The Fire have four all-stars — Nemanja Nikolic, Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Johan Kappelhof. Nikolic leads the league with 16 goals.
ABOUT SPORTING KC (8-4-9, 33 points): The attention will center on Sporting Kansas City’s front line after the club traded striker Dom Dwyer to Orlando City SC earlier this week. Diego Rubio is likely to get the start up top. ... Defender Ike Opara returned to training this week after a gruesome concussion earlier this month. He is listed as questionable. ... Forward Gerso Fernandes, the team’s leading scorer, will serve a one-match suspension for a dangerous foul last weekend.
BOTTOM LINE: Sporting Kansas City will counter one of the league’s top offenses with its top-ranked defense. It has allowed only five goals in 10 home matches this season.
PREDICTION: Chicago 1, Sporting KC 1