With the final phase of preseason underway in Bradenton Florida, the Fire will play four more friendly matches after winning their first two contests. Games against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday, Miami FC on February 19, FC Cincinnati on February 22, and Toronto FC on February 25 will close out preseason.
The Fire defeated Philadelphia 1-0 last Thursday on the strength of a 56th minute Michael de Leeuw goal assisted by a Nemanja Nikolic cross. Luis Solignac hit the post late in the game and David Arshakyan bungled an open net rebound chance, but other than that there weren't many chances for either side.
The Fire line-up for that game featured what could be many of the starters come March 4 in Columbus. Veljko Paunovic appeared to deploy a 4-4-2 formation to start, before switching to a 4-2-3-1 later in the game and controlling much of the second half. The game also featured the debut of Dax McCarty on the field for Chicago.
Line-up v Union: Bava (Lampson 64'); Harrington (Campbell 64'), Kappelhof (Beckie 80'), Meira (Dekovic 72'), Doody (Fernandez 72'); Alvarez (Goossens 64'), Juninho (Johnson 72'), McCarty (Bronico 72'), Accam (Conner 72'); Nikolic (Solignac 64'), De Leeuw (Arshakyan 72')
Training camp roster
Gone from the roster for the final phase of camp are trialists Drew Beckie, Boyd Okwuonu, Chris Konopka, Miguel Alavarado, Juan Pablo Caffa, and draft pick Guillermo Delgado. Former Portland Timbers defender Taylor Peay is now in camp.
GK: Bava, Cleveland, Lampson
DEF: Campbell, Dekovic*, Doody, Harrington, Kappelhof, Meira, Peay**, Vincent
MID: Accam, Alvarez, Bronico*, Conner, Fernandez, Goossens, Johnson, Juninho, McCarty, Mihailovic, Polster
FWD: Arshakyan, Calistri, de Leeuw, Nikolic, Solignac
*Unsigned SuperDraft pick
MLS' primary transfer window officially opens today and will remain open until May 8. Teams have added players players and exchanged contracts via compensation in the form of Allocation Money, draft picks, or international slots this winter but clubs can now facilitate player-for-player transactions along with continuing to explore the international market.