Our prediction for this MLS match:
Buoyed by back-to-back wins over New York City and Atlanta United, Charlotte will look to give fans yet another reason to celebrate when they take on Chicago Fire on Thursday morning. Charlotte have been scoring goals for fun of late and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Chicago Fire. A man to watch in the home team will be Iraq international Justin Meram, who scored a brace in the last league match, while both Victor Bezerra and Justin Reynolds are out of contention with injuries.
Chicago, on the other hand, did well to beat St Louis City thanks to Rafael Czichos’ goal, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry at Bank of America Stadium. Considering that Charlotte are tough to beat at home, we are tempted to put our money on draw. As for the home side, all George Marks, Bill Tuiloma, Joseph Mora, Kerwin Vargas, and Guzman Corujo remain in the recovery room.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
Highlighted Team (Chicago Fire):
Based in the suburb of Bridgeview, Illinois, Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club who compete in Major League Soccer. Chicago Fire were founded on October 8, 1997 and one year later they won the MLS Cup by beating D.C. United (2-0) in the title game. The club play their home games at Toyota Park, the venue that was opened on June 11, 2006. Chicago Fire won four U.S. Open Cups (1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006) and in 2009 they were beaten by UANL Tigres in the North American Superliga final.
The likes of Chris Armas, DeMarcus Beasley, Brian McBride, Eric Wynalda and Frank Klopas are some of the notable footballers who played for Chicago Fire in the past. It has to be noted that a number of veterans were part of the club as well: Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Pavel Pardo, Piotr Nowak, Hristo Stoichkov and Lubos Kubik.
The club’s official colors are red and white and they are nicknamed Men in Red. Veljko Paunovic, who won the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with Serbia, is one of the club’s most famous coaches.