The Chicago Fire open their home season at Toyota Park in 2012 with a matchup against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. CT. After playing the Montreal Impact to a 1-1 draw on March 17, the Fire will look to take down a Union squad that could be missing Chris Albright and Gabriel Farfan, but still boasts a nice combination up front with forwards Danny Mwanga and Lionard Pajoy.
SB Nation's Fire blog, Hot Time In Old Town, wonders whether head coach Frank Klopas will change up the 4-2-2-2 system used in the first game, "with the forwards and attacking mids (Oduro, Nyarko, Pappa and Grazzini) not playing very wide to allow the outside backs (Sega and Gargan) to exploit the space." Here is what comes to their mind with regards to this matchup:
Last weekend, just as in the U.S. Open Cup Final last season, Montreal deployed a very deep back line to prevent Oduro from getting behind them. This tactic severely limits Oduro and puts more emphasis on Grazzini to create chances. Montreal also kicked Grazzini out of the game which also limited the Fire to little more than speculative shots for almost the whole game. The one and only time Grazzini had time/space to create, he did - setting up Dom for the goal. If Philly try to man mark Grazzini or kick him off the field and/or play a deep back line, Klopas must change up the tactics to counter this.
Here is some information to help you find the game on Saturday:
Matchup: Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia
Location: Union-Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
Game Time: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 24
TV: Comcast Sports Net Chicago / MLS Live / Direct Kick
For more on this match, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Fire, check out Hot Time in Hold Town. For more news and notes around the MLS, check out SB Nation's soccer news hub.