I'm off to postgame right now. Recap is coming up soon.
THAT'S IT! THE FIRE WIN 1-0! Their first win of the season.
90+1' : Chance for the Union as Herbers cuts into the box but Polster makes the big clearance.
Two minutes of extra time added on here.
89' : Barnetta sends one into the far post but Lampson collects.
89' : Sapong draws a freekick in Chicago's half. Chance for the Union coming up.
87' : Sub for Chicago. Cocis off for Nick LaBrocca.
86' : Gilberto gets taken down on the break in the penalty box but nothing is given.
83 : Gilberto with another good chance but this time it's blocked away. Corner is cleared out as well.
82' : Goossens whips it in but nobody gets a touch on it and it goes straight to Blake.
82' : Handball by Philadelphia. Chicago has a free kick in the Union's half.
81' : Goossens has a go from outside the box but it's blocked out for a corner.
80' : Gilberto has a shot go wide of the goal. Good chance as he had some space in front of him.
79' : Chance for the Fire as Igboananike's free header goes high over the bar.
72' : Free kick deflects onto Lampson but he gathers it rather easily.
71' : Yellow card for Matt Poulster for a foul on Illsinho.
70' : Chance for Philadelphia off a set piece but the shot off the free kick is shot wide.
66' : Chance for the Fire as the shot hits the back of the net but Igboananike is ruled offside.
66' : Double Sub for the Union. Alberg for Tranquillo Barnetta and Ponitus off for Sebastian Le Toux.
63' : Chance for Chicago as Goossens gets right into the game as his shot forces a good save from Blake.
61' : Sub for Chicago. Alvarez off for John Goossens.
55' : Sapong's volley goes high and wide.
51' : GOAL FOR THE FIRE! IT'S KENNEDY IGBOANANIKE WITH LOW SHOT THAT BEATS BLAKE'S FAR POST. 1-0 FIRE.
48' : RED CARD FOR PHILADELPHIA. Creavalle is the man sent off as he goes in for a nasty tackle on Cocis. Union down to 10 men.
47' : OFF THE BAR AGAIN. Philly just can't catch a break as another shot goes off the bar.
46' : Another huge chance for the Union. Sapong finds himself free against Lampson and forces the goalie to make a save. The ball rebounds to Alberg who has an empty net. But his shot is blocked by Michael Harrington
We are about to start the second half. The snow has stopped for now.
45' : That's halftime! We are all tied at 0-0.
44' : Another chance for the Union as Sapong see's his volley go just wide of the post.
43' : Chance for the Union. Ilsinho does very well to get by two defenders on the right wing and swings in a cross but nobody can get it until Fabinho comes across and his strike blocked.
41' : OFF THE POST. Sapong finds himself with the ball in the box and shoots it past a helpless Lampson. Off the post.
37': Yellow card for Rodrigo Ramos on a foul in his own half.
36' : Shot from Chris Pontius goes high and wide over the bar. Goal kick Chicago.
33' : Lampson punches away the corner.
32' : Sapong has a chance in the box but it's blocked away for the corner.
29' : OFF THE BAR. Either Sapong or Creavalle got a head on it and the ball went over Lampson and off the bar. So close for Philadelphia.
28' : Shot from Gilberto in close isi saved by Blake but it's rule offside anyway.
26' : Missed chance for the Fire on the offensive end almost costs them on the defensive end. Philadelphia almost caught them on the counterattack but Alberg's shot goes wide.
26' : The free kick goes high and wide over the bar. Goal kick Chicago.
25': Sapong wins a free kick in Chicago's area. Another chance for the Union.
23' : HUGE CHANCE FOR THE FIRE. Blake can't handle the crosss from Rodrigo Ramos and spills it. Madness ensues in the box and Cocis has his half volley go just wide of the post.
22' : Free kick is deflected as it hits the wall and goes over. Corner for the Union.
21' : Union win a free kick in Chicago's half. Could lead to a dangerous chance.
16' : Another chance for the Fire as Igboananike's shot hits the net.
15' : CHANCE FOR THE FIRE. A cross comes in from the right by Kennedy Igboananike and Blake has to push it away.
14' : Defensive miscue almost costs the Fire but Matt Lampson comes off his line and dives on the loose ball.
13' : Yellow card to Warren Creavalle for a foul on Matt Polster
12' : Foul in the air on the corner and the Fire retain possession.
10' : Snow is coming down here in Bridgeview and the Union have won a corner.
7' : Razvan Cocis found himself with space to run on the counterattack but his final touch evades him and he ends up fouling the defender in front of him
6' : Roland Alberg has a good chance for the Union but it's blocked away
5' : Arturo Alvarez tries to a lob a ball over the defense but it's too long and Andre Blake easily corrals it.
3' : Union catch the Fire off guard on a throw in and win a corner off a blocked shot down the line.
We are off!
All set for kickoff from Toyota Park!
After playing the last two games in a 3-5-2, the Fire opt to go to a 4-4-1-1 in this game, very interesting.
Philadelphia (4-2-3-1) : Blake, Fabinho, Marquez, Tribbett, Rosenberry, Pontius, Carroll, Alberg, Creavalle, Ilsinho, Sapong
Chicago (4-4-1-1) : Lampson, Kappelhof, Ramos, Campbell, Harrington, Alvarez, Polster, Stephens, Igboananike, Cocis, Gilberto
We are a few minutes away from kickoff! Here are your starting XI!
We will have more coverage closer to game time at Toyota Park. Starting lineups will be expected to be out soon.
A win would be huge for the Union as it would help them stay atop the Eastern Conference table. With games against some tough Western Conference teams and Montreal coming up, the Union need to get all the points they can get before they go into that stretch. A win would be the first of the season for the Fire and will likely jump them in the standings a couple of spots.
The last time these two teams met was in the semifinal of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It was a 1-0 win for the Union in Philadelphia, sending them to a second consecutive final and providing another season of heartbreak for the Fire. It was a rough 2015 season for Chicago as they suffered a number of close losses and cup heartbreak all while at the bottom of the table.
Another storyline in this one will be how the Fire handle another game without David Accam. The winger, whose pace has been a game changer for Chicago, will likely be out in this match. That's a big loss for the Fire, as they utterly depend on the Ghanaian. Accam's absence was evident as Chicago failed to register a shot in the first half against Columbus. Without Accam's presence, strikers Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike struggle to get service and work their way into a game. Holding up the ball and moving up on offense at a much slower pace has seemed to trouble Chicago.
This afternoon, Chicago will be facing another top striker in CJ Sapong. Sapong has been great for Philadelphia so far with two goals in their first three games of this new season. He scored a brace against the Revolution and will be looking to pick up goals in back to back games. Last time out, the Fire did a great job against Kei Kamara. Today will prove another key test for this new look Chicago defense.
Paunovic is going bold by playing Chicago in a 3-5-2 formation and is expected to line up that way today against the Union. For a team that gave up the most goals in the MLS last year, it is a risky choice for the Fire. But unlike last year, Chicago has proven to be a solid force at the back. Granted they had a mishap in the first game, but they have gotten two solid performances from the backline since then. They recently signed Johan Kappelhof from Europe and he has brougth a lot of experience to the club. The one-time Ajax youth product has fit in perfectly as the replacement for Jeff Larentowicz as Chicago's defensive stalwart. He has helped rookie Brandon Vincent and has provided a solid cornerstone in front of Matt Lampson.
Meanwhile it has been another tough start to the season for the Chicago Fire. They lost their home opener against NYCFC 4-3 but rebounded after that with two draws against Orlando City SC and the Columbus Crew. Both draws were tight affairs as Chicago had to deal with being a man down against Orlando and a lackluster offense against the Crew. Yet, somehow, Chicago has two points and Veljko Paunović still has a lot of work to do for the Fire. It's his first season with the Fire and some time should be given to let him settle in.
The Philadelphia Union have been one of the bright spots in this MLS season so far. After losing their first game against FC Dallas, the Union have reeled off two straight wins, beating the Columbus Crew away from home and the New England Revolution back at Talen Energy Stadium. The victories have the Union tied for first with the Montreal Impact at the top of the table in the Eastern Conference and after last season, they have rebounded very well. Could they be the MLS's version of Leicester City? Only time will tell.
Hello and welcome to VAVEL USA’s LIVE coverage of Major League Soccer. This afternoon is this season’s first meeting between the Chicago Fire and the Philadelphia Union. This is the first game of the day and kicks off at 5:00 EST in Bridgeview, Illinois. My name is Vijay Vemu and stay tuned for pre-game, in-game, and post-game coverage!