MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
04/04/2014 5:13 PM
04/04/2014 5:22 PM
Philadelphia (1-1-2) at Chicago (0-1-3), 5 p.m.
Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Eastern Conference rivals will clash on Saturday as the Philadelphia Union travel to Toyota Park to battle the Chicago Fire.
Coming off a disappointing result last week which saw Philadelphia concede late and settle for a 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact, the Union will have a decidedly different look against the Fire as the team traded forward Jack McInerney to Montreal in exchange for Andrew Wenger.
McInerney, 21, spent his first four-plus seasons in Philadelphia after being drafted by the club in 2010. He has tallied 25 goals and four assists in 95 games with Philadelphia, including 53 starts, and 5,059 minutes played. In addition, he scored three times in six Lamar Hunt U.S. Open matches.
Wenger, 23, hasn't received consistent playing time since being taken No. 1 overall by the Impact in the 2012 SuperDraft, but recorded 823 minutes at forward and notched four goals in his first season before appearing in 24 MLS matches last season.
"Andrew is a young and talented attacking player who we think is a good fit with our style of play," Union manager John Hackworth said. "Jack was an important member of our squad over the past four years, but the reality is our team has evolved and this deal puts our team in a better overall position long-term. Andrew is a Pennsylvania native that we are familiar with from his time as a youth and Reading United player and he will be a great addition to our team as both a person and a player going forward."
After giving up an equalizing goal 10 minutes from time last week, the trade should see the Union come out with a little more fire and Wenger should slide right into the starting lineup.
Chicago also will have a new look on Saturday as the club sent veteran forward Chris Rolfe to D.C. United during the week in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
Chicago is coming off earning a road point last weekend in a 2-2 draw with United at RFK Stadium.
The Fire got on the board first through a goal from Jhon-Kennedy Hurtado in the 27th minute, but it canceled out by an equalizing strike from Fabian Espindola six minutes later.
The Fire fell behind in the 73rd minute through a Perry Kitchen goal, but claimed an equalizer eight minutes from time through Quincy Amarikwa to claim a point.
"(We felt) confident, you know, we have not lost in two matches and I always look at the positive if I can, and you know we haven't lost in three, that's the way I look at it," Fire head coach Frank Yallop said. "We haven't won a game yet this season but again, it's not easy to win games, especially away from home in this league so we are looking forward to playing at home next weekend and hopefully we can get that in."
In three meetings between the sides last season, Philadelphia earned a pair of 1-0 result in consecutive weeks before dropping the final meeting of the season, 2-1, on Aug. 3 at PPL Park.
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