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  • July 2, 2014
  • • 8:30 PM
  • • Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
  • Referee: J. Gonzalez
  • • Attendance: 13153
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MLS Preview: Chicago Fire - Toronto FC

MLS Preview: Chicago Fire - Toronto FC

Mike Dinovo

In a matchup of two Eastern Conference teams headed in different directions, both sides will be desperate for a victory.

The Chicago Fire return from the World Cup break having dropped to the bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference, with Frank Yalop's side sitting on an even 14 points from 14 league matches played. And while the Fire claimed a couple of U.S. Open Cup victories during the club's time off from MLS play, the start of the next phase of the league schedule gets no easier as Toronto FC visits Toyota Park on Wednesday night.

In the past, a visit by TFC would usually mean a win for the Fire. Toronto has not claimed victory at Toyota Park since 2010, but the current Reds' side is riding a five-game MLS unbeaten streak and boasts a conference-best 1.67 points-per-game average.

In contrast, Chicago has played two more games than its Canadian opposition but has collected six fewer points. A league-low two victories has anchored the Fire to the bottom of the standings, and Yallop will need his team to start winning against Eastern opponents sooner than later if it wants to compete for a playoff berth.

It could be a tall order against a TFC side that boasts an in-form Jermain Defoe, who has scored five times in the past five matches. The Englishman has thrust himself into the MLS Golden Boot race despite having missed all of April with a hamstring strain, and he'll be looking to add to his tally against a Fire defense that has conceded 25 times so far this season.

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
25Sean JohnsonGoalkeeper
4Bakary SoumareDefender
6Patrick IanniDefender
5Lovel PalmerMidfielder
8Grant WardMidfielder
9Mike MageeMidfielder
16Greg CochraneMidfielder
20Jeff LarentowiczMidfielder
21Christopher Jay RitterMidfielder
19Harrison ShippStriker
24Quincy AmarikwaStriker
28Kyle ReynishGoalkeeper
13Gonzalo SegaresDefender
7AlexMidfielder
-Dilly DukaMidfielder
12Logan PauseMidfielder
29Matthew WatsonMidfielder
-Juan Luis AnangonóStriker
12Joe BendikGoalkeeper
2Justin MorrowDefender
11JacksonDefender
13Steven CaldwellDefender
17Nick HagglundDefender
28Mark BloomDefender
21Jonathan OsorioMidfielder
26Collen WarnerMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
-Dominic OduroStriker
27L. MooreStriker
1Chris KonopkaGoalkeeper
5Ashtone MorganDefender
15Doneil HenryDefender
16Bradley OrrDefender
8Kyle BekkerMidfielder
14Dwayne De RosarioMidfielder
32Andrew WiedemanStriker

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