Housecoming: Chicago Fire vs. Chicago House A.C., U.S. Open Cup Preview

CEO Tam DT
The Cup is back, and the Chicago Fire are set to face off against their local rivals, Chicago House A.C., in the first Chicago Derby since their U.S. Open Cup victory in 2000. This clash...

The Cup is back, and the Chicago Fire are set to face off against their local rivals, Chicago House A.C., in the first Chicago Derby since their U.S. Open Cup victory in 2000. This clash between two teams founded by Peter Wilt will take place at SeatGeek Stadium, the former home of the Fire and the current home of House.

Chicago has a long history with the U.S. Open Cup, and this match continues the tradition of Chicago Derbies in Cup competition. However, last year's outing was a disappointment for the Fire, as they lost to third-division side Union Omaha in their only game. Now, they are determined to show that they are on a different course this year. On the other hand, House is looking to extend their Cinderella story and keep their dream alive.

Series History

This is the first meeting between the two clubs.

All-time Chicago Fire Open Cup Record: 49W-19L, including results from PKs All-time Chicago House Open Cup Record: 2W-0L

Recent Form

Chicago House A.C. The Midwest Premier League season has yet to start for House. They have had a successful run in the U.S. Open Cup, with a recent comeback win against USL1 side Forward Madison. However, they also suffered a loss in an Amateur Cup match against United Serbs. For more insight into House, check out Alex Calabrese's interview with Adnan Bašić.

Chicago Fire In league play, the Fire have a record of 2W-4D-2L (10pts). They recently suffered a 2-1 loss to Atlanta United, conceding a late goal. The Fire are looking to bounce back and improve their form.

The Storyline

The journey for House in the Cup has been nothing short of a fairytale, filled with come-from-behind victories and dramatic moments. They have even had to overcome challenges like playing in a pitch-black stadium due to the lights not being turned on. On the other hand, the Fire have struggled in the U.S. Open Cup in recent years, with their last win coming in 2018.

Despite the differences in their professional status, the Fire cannot underestimate House. Last year, the Fire lost to a third-division side, and House has already defeated Forward Madison, who plays in the same league. The Fire need to stay sharp and focused if they want to secure a victory.

All eyes will be on the Fire in this must-win game. The players will not only be working as a unit to achieve the expected result but also trying to prove themselves individually for more playing time and roster spots.

Tactics and Projected Starting Lineups

Chicago House

Projected House AC Starting Eleven Lineup

House A.C. is likely to start with a 4-2-3-1 formation, focusing on solid defending, quick counters, and taking advantage of every offensive opportunity. Captain A.R. Smith Jr. and striker Adam Mann will be key players to watch for House.

Chicago Fire

Projected Fire Starting Eleven in a 4-2-3-1 Formation

The Fire will field a rotated lineup, including both Fire II players and members of the main team who haven't seen much playing time. Spencer Richey is expected to start in goal, while players like Alonso Aceves and Wyatt Omsberg will have the chance to impress the coaching staff. Georgios Koutsias and Missael Rodríguez will provide attacking options for the Fire.

Fire Keys to Victory

  • Make Chances Count: The Fire need to be clinical in front of goal and convert their opportunities. Every missed chance could boost House's confidence and increase the possibility of an upset.
  • Trust the System: With a mix of Fire II players and limited-minutes players, sticking to the team's game plan is crucial for success.
  • Use the Bench Wisely: Coach Ezra Hendrickson should be prepared to make substitutions if needed, even at the expense of rested legs for the upcoming MLS match. This is a must-win game, and the bench can provide fresh energy and different options if required.

Panel Predictions

  • Alex Calabrese: Fire 3-1 House
  • John Carollo: Chicago wins
  • Colin Chough: Fire 3-1 House
  • Christian Hirschboeck: Fire 3-0 House
  • Tim Hotze: Fire 3-0 House
  • Matt Shabelman: Fire 5-0 House

Match Information and How to Watch

  • Date and Time: Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 7:00 PM CT
  • Location: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL
  • Forecast: 45°F expected at kick-off, with 47% humidity, winds E at 10-17mph, 10% cloud cover, and no chance of precipitation
  • TV: ChicagoFireFC.com

So get ready for an exciting Chicago Derby in the U.S. Open Cup as the Fire and House battle it out for a spot in the next round.

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