Our prediction for this MLS match:
Even though everybody expected that title holders Toronto would continue with thrilling displays in 2018, they have been struggling at the start of the new MLS campaign. The Reds sit in the bottom of the Eastern Conference and they head into Saturday's football match against Chicago Fire following a heavy 5-1 loss to Houston Dynamo. Toronto are desperate to get back on course and the game against Chicago Fire could be the turning point for Sebastian Giovinco and Co. Veljko Paunovic's men, on the other hand, recorded a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls in their last league match, with the team quickly bouncing back from a 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire. However, they will have a big fish to fry in Saturday's game against Toronto and we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed from the trip to Canada.
Highlighted Player (Armando Cooper):
Armando Cooper is an attacking midfielder who plays for both Toronto FC and Panama national football team. After spending his youth career at Arabe Unido, Cooper began playing for Arabe Unido at senior level. The Panama footballer scored 26 goals in 141 appearances in the league for los Arabes and during the 2010/2011 season he was on Godoy Cruz’s radar.
In the summer of 2011 he signed a contract with the Argentine club, but he was playing below expectations in the Argentine Primera Division, scoring only three goals in 26 appearances for the Tomba. Armando Cooper moved to Europe in 2015 and he played seven games for St. Pauli in 2. Bundesliga, but he quickly returned to Panama. The midfielder returned to Arabe Unido for the 2015/2016 season, but he was soon loaned to MLS club Toronto.
Armando Cooper signed a permanent deal with the Reds after the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs and he has been playing for the club ever since. Cooper made his Panama debut on October 7, 2006 against El Salvador.
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.