Well that's it ladies and gentlemen, the final here from Toyota Park is 3-0 to the Chicago Fire. Signing off, I'm Eevry Goren and thank you for joining me.
92' Goal scoring hero Alvarez leaves the match for Joey Calistri
89' Chicago have absolutely wrapped it up tonight, goal number 3, this time Alvarez embarasses Tribbett and slots past him.
82' A poor back pass from Philadelphia sets Alvarez up who chips a pass to de Leeuw but he skies his shot.
81' Charlie Davies and Leo Fernandes enter the match for Philadelphia for Sapong and
79' Chris Pontius charges into the box but he's put off balance by a Chicago defender and loses possession.
74' Michael Stephens enters the match for Goossens
71' McCarthy winds up out of his net and de Leeuw pokes the header in to double the Chicago lead.
71' Yet another save! This time it's Ilsinho with the shot.
70' Chris Pontius hits one from distance but Johnson saves again!
69' Ilsinho enters the match for Herbers
67' SAVE JOHNSON! Another acrobatic save as Sapong's header from the corner was nearly the equalizer
66' Harrington enters the match for Kappelhof
65' Alberg puts the free kick just above the net!
64' Kappelhoff is carded for bringing Pontius down on the edge of the box.
62' Barnetta with the corner, but Sean Johnson punches it away!
61' Cocis is carded for persistant infringement.
58' Goossens shot is blocked!
58' Free kick Union, Meira with the yellow
56' Tribbett with the class tackle on Vicent! The Chicago left back was clear in on goal.
54' SAPONG JUST WIDE. Alberg blasted into the box but Sapong couldn't quite get a toe to his shot.
52' Barnetta floats in a cross but it flies past everyone for a goal kick.
50' Chance, Chicago! de Leeuw's free kick finds the head of Alvarez but his header floats above the goal for a goal kick.
48' Free kick floated in by Chicago but Richie Marquez clears the ball.
The second half is upon us!
45' And at half time, Chicago lead 1-0.
42' Barnetta places the free kick, he tries to be clever and play it low into the box but the Chicago defense were alive to it and cleared the danger.
37' Nearly a second own goal off the corner as McCarthy palms away Rosenberry's clearance.
36' Alvarez beats Rossenberry on the outside but McCarthy closes the angle and makes the save.
35' Calls from the Union players for a Chicago hand ball fall to deaf ears
32' Goossens goes down in the box but there's no call from Toledo.
31' Header ping pong on the corner results in an offside call against the Union.
30' SAVE JOHNSON! Johnson absolutely stopped an equalizer, tipping Pontius' bomber from distance over the bar.
28' Fabinho with the cross but Brandon Vincent clears it. Philadelphia not able to produce a shot on goal.
26' The corner is off the side netting and out.
26' McCarthy tips it over for a corner, Soligniac nearly made it 2-0.
24' Pontius deflected! The former DC man shoots and Herbers' follow up is blocked.
23' Polster slips the ball into the box and Alberg slides into it for a Philadelphia own goal.
19' Alvarez swings in the free kick and several players go up for the header but it's called off for a foul by de Leeuw.
18' Soligniac fouled on the left wing in a good free kick position for Chicago.
13' Soligniac fouls but Goossens was in miles of space on the counter!
9' Union pressure continues, Fabinho launches a cross into the box but Fabian Herbers' header is drilled into the ground.
8' CORNER UNION, Pontius latches onto a Chicago defensive header but couldn't put his shot on target.
7' SAPONG JUST WIDE OF GOAL. Chris Pontius wins the header and Sapong runs onto it but he couldn't control the bouncing ball.
5' Fabinho launches a cross into the box but Chicago clear it with ease.
3' Matt Polster hits one from distance but his shot is blocked, the second chance from Soligniac eeks wide of goal.
1' The Union with two early clearances, Chicago have really launched into the attack right from kick off.
0' And the Fire kick off!
KICK OFF IS UPON US!
Their line up goes as such: Johnson, Kappelhof, Campbell, Meira, Vincent, Cocis, Polster, Alvarez, Goossens, Soligniac, and de Leeuw.
As for Chicago Fire they're without David Accam
The Philadelphia line up: McCarthy, Rosenberry, Tribbett, Marquez, Fabinho, Herbers, Barnetta, Creavalle, Pontius, Alberg. and Sapong.
For the Philadelphia Union, Joshua Yaro has not traveled with the team due to the passing of his mother.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are just under 20 minutes away from kick off and the line ups are out!
According to Taylor Twellman, FC Nantes, the former club of Alejandro Bedoya, was in hot pursuit of the 25-year-old. Doug McIntyre of ESPN FC also noted that the French Ligue One side offered three million dollars to Chicago for Accam, which the Fire subsequently did not accept.
The leading Chicago goal scorer, Accam, scored the first goal in the Fire’s June loss to Philadelphia and always is a dangerous player for the center backs to keep an eye on due to his tremendous speed as well as skill. On the season, the Ghanaian international has seven goals and four assists in 17 games played this season.
The Fire also will be without a major player in their squad. Speedy forward David Accam has been called up to the Ghanaian national team ahead of their September 3rd Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Ghana has already qualified for the 2017 tournament, but will still have to finish out their qualification schedule with the tilt against Rwanda.
However, who will take over the number eight role from Bedoya for Saturday? Before Bedoya signed with Philadelphia, Curtin started Tranquillo Barnetta in the number eight role alongside in Warren Creavalle. With Barnetta at the eight, Roland Alberg could move into the number ten role. With this lineup, Philadelphia seemed to have a leaky defense as both Alberg and Barnetta are really number tens.
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin announced this week that John McCarthy will be the goalkeeper in Saturday’s match.
The other missing Philadelphia man from Saturday’s match will be Alejandro Bedoya. Bedoya earned a call-up to the United States Men’s national team for their two matches against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (September 2nd) as well as Trinidad and Tobago (September 6th).
Philadelphia will be without two of its main contributors from those wins. Andre Blake has been called up to the Jamaican National Team for their two World Cup Qualifiers against Haiti and Panama. Jamaica will play Friday night September 2nd at Panama in their first match. Jamaica will return home on September 6th to play their match against Haiti.
In their last time out, Chicago was soundly beaten, 6-2, by D.C. United and comes into Saturday’s match with a 1-2-3 record in their last six matches.
Chicago has not had a season to remember. Through 25 matches this season, the Fire have earned only 23 points with only five wins on the season. However, they have are still theoretically in the race for the last playoff spot as they do have two games in hand against sixth place D.C. United, who have 32 points through 27 games. The margin for error for Veljko Paunovic’s side is extremely thin to somehow salvage anything from this season with nine games left in the season.
Philadelphia currently is in a tie for third with New York Red Bulls with 40 points in 27 games. The East is shaping up into two tiers. First place, New York City FC, and fourth place, Philadelphia, are only separated by four points, as of Friday afternoon. This is not to mention that NYCFC has played one more game, (a Thursday night win against D.C. United) than second place Toronto FC as well as the Red Bulls and Union. With this said, Philadelphia desperately need three points to keep pace in the hunt for the Eastern Conference regular season title.
Both teams are very much going in opposite directions, with the Union continuing to surge back up the table following a drop in form following the Copa America Centenario break, as for Chicago despite new hires in the Sporting Director and Manager positions, and significant squad overhaul prior to the start of the season, the Bridgeview, Illinois-based side currently languish in last place in both the Eastern Conference and the overall table. The Fire are, however, likely on course to finish with a higher point than tally last season, having finished the 2015 season in last place with 30 points, while currently sitting on 23 points with nine matches to go.
As mentioned previously, this is the third matchup this season between the clubs. Back in April, Chicago won at home against Philadelphia, 1-0, thanks to a second half goal from Kennedy Igboananike. When the two teams returned to Philadelphia in mid-June, the Union, led by a hat trick from Roland Alberg, defeated the Fire, 4-3.
The head referee will be Baldomero Toledo. On the sidelines, Eric Boria and Logan Brown will be the assistant referees. The fourth official is Marcos DeOliveira.
The game will be broadcasted on The Comcast Network in Philadelphia, CSN Plus in Chicago anded via MLS LIVE.
Welcome to VAVEL USA’s LIVE coverage of the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season action. Saturday night’s MLS Eastern Conference matchup between the Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire will take place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. This is the third matchup between the two sides this season. I’m Eevry Goren, and I’ll be providing minute-to-minute updates, commentary, and results of the match. The game starts at 8:30 PM EST and there will be coverage pregame, mid-game, and postgame.