DC United vs Chicago Fire 2022: Time, TV schedule and how to watch MLS online

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DC United will face two foes today as the Chicago Fire and the harshest weather of all winter arrive in the District today. The Men in Red have undergone a major overhaul this offseason, signing Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri and adapting to a more pragmatic approach under new head coach Ezra Hendrickson.

The result? The Fire, like United, started 2022 with back-to-back shutouts. This ability to collectively defend and stay connected makes them a tougher opponent than the Blacks and Reds have faced this year, and DCU will have to open them up amid howling winds and temperatures set to drop in Buzzard’s teens. Point tonight.

Key player: Michael Estrade

For one, Estrada has scored three times in three games against MLS competition, including a brace on his competitive debut. That’s about all you can ask of a loan striker, isn’t it?

It’s just that the underlying data points to a player not being involved enough for United to thrive. In two regular season games, data from WhoScored indicates that Estrada has almost as many turnovers through poor control (12) as pass attempts (15). Both of his goals came on his only two shots in MLS, and his creative impact (1 key pass, 1 successful dribble) was just adequate. Ola Kamara has done more with less time than Estrada so far, and now Nigel Robertha is also off the injury report. Adrien Perez’s minutes have gone from Game 1 to Game 2, and Taxi Fountas could still end up coming early.

It’s the long way of saying that the pressure is on Estrada not to score as much (although that would be nice), but to find his way through the game with and without the ball on a more regular basis.

Location: Audi Land (Washington, DC)

Kick-off time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Projection of DC United from 11: (343) – Bill Hamid; Andy Najar, Brendan Hines-Ike, Steven Birnbaum; Julian Gressel, Drew Skundrich, Sofiane Djeffal, Brad Smith; Griffin Yow, Michael Estrada, Edison Flores

Bench: Jon Kempin, Donovan Pines, Tony Alfaro, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Gaoussou Samake, Russell Canouse, Adrien Perez, Nigel Robertha, Ola Kamara

If Canouse is ready to leave – he was the only player listed as questionable this week in the injury report – United will have exactly 20 players available to dress tonight. Moses Nyeman is suspended, while we are told that Jacob Greene, Kimarni Smith, Hayden Sargis, Jeremy Garay and Ted Ku-DiPietro are on loan at Loudoun for their opener tonight. Greene and Smith should at least be around for a good while, while this latest trio might be more of a week-to-week affair.

Canouse’s lack of playing time means he only makes the bench if cleared to play, meaning Djeffal looks like an easy bet to make his first professional start (though bringing Pines back to full-back and pushing Najar could also be a possibility). Other than that, perhaps the only potential change we can imagine is seeing Kamara do Estrada again, as we detailed earlier.

Projection of Chicago from 11: (4231) – Gaga Slonina; Boris Sekulić, Wyatt Omsberg, Rafael Czichos, Miguel Navarro; Mauricio Pineda, Gaston Gimenez; Stanislav Ivanov, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabian Herbers; Kacper Przybylko

There’s little reason to believe Ezra Hendrickson will change much in a team that has posted back-to-back draws. After years of being a self-destructing team capable of undoing excellent, fluid football spells with mind-boggling errors or a complete lack of attention to detail, the former DCU defender has set up his team to be functional and focused, and while the football hasn’t been much fun, neither starter gives Hendrickson reason to think about trading them.

If there’s one player who could break the composition, it’s probably midfield destroyer Federico Navarro, who would provide a more combative advantage than the more stationary Giménez. Young wingers Brian Gutiérrez (a local) and Jhon Durán (an Under-22 Initiative signing) are most likely the first replacements Hendrickson will turn to, but since the Fire have only used five out of ten substitutes possible so far this season, they could also be the only subs to enter this game.

Arbitrator: Rubiel Vazquez

Television available: NBC Sports Washington Plus (yes, Plus, not the normal NBCSW), TeleXitos

Broadcast available: dcunited.com if you live in the team’s geographic area. For everyone else, ESPN+ or FuboTV (subscribe via these links, and your B&RU friends earn money!).

Be sure to check out our DCU guide on how to watch to determine which is your best option.

For announcements in other countries, see LiveSoccerTV.com.

What do we have to say about this? : The back half of the latest Filibuster is all about this new take on Chicago and what United can expect tonight.

What are you drinking?: Forecasts indicate that we are looking at wind chills in the 1930s at Buzzard Point. Hot green tea is a must. Stay warm out there, folks.

It’s the perfect place for all your pre-game, game and post-game discussions. Vamos wins without freezing!

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