Fire host Inter Miami in fight for postseason spot
Posted on: 03 Oct, 2023 at 11:54 PM
Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Fire will look to keep pace with CF Montreal in the Eastern Conference playoff race when they play host to Inter Miami on Wednesday.
Chicago (9-12-10, 37 points) is just below the playoff line in 11th, but it has the same amount of points as Montreal, which currently holds the ninth and final playoff spot in the East and owns the tiebreaker by having more wins (11).
The Fire enter Wednesday's match following a 1-0 road victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday and are 5-3-7 at home this season.
"I think for Wednesday, it's just confidence, to believe that, you know, we have really good players, we have a really good team," Chicago coach Frank Klopas said. "We can play, we can keep clean sheets, which gives us always an opportunity to be in the game."
Veteran forward Kei Kamara has paced the Fire this season with five goals and two assists. Chicago defeated Miami 3-2 back in March -- this year's only other MLS regular-season meeting between the two sides.
Lionel Messi's status remains up in the air for the midweek fixture. Messi has a goal and two assists in MLS regular-season play and has not played in four of Miami's past five matches because of a leg injury.
"We're going to see this game to game," Miami coach Gerardo Martino said of Messi's availability.
Miami (9-15-6, 33 points) enters the match following a 1-1 draw against New York City FC on Saturday. Miami, 3-10-2 in away matches this season, is in 13th spot in the Eastern Conference, four points back of the playoff line.
With just four matches remaining, Martino knows his club is in must-win territory to reach the playoffs.
"The game against Chicago is going to be very, very decisive," he said. "We have to win on Wednesday and Saturday."
--Field Level Media