This week, a headline in the Chicago Tribune, the Windy City's venerable newspaper of record, asked the question, "What is Atlanta United doing right that the Fire are doing so wrong?"
They compared the excitement for soccer in Atlanta to the lack of it in Chicago, and it will be evident on Saturday as the Atlanta United takes on the Chicago Fire just off their first ever team victory last Sunday, against fellow expansion club Minnesota United FC, 6-1.
Saturday's match marks the first to be broadcast on Facebook under the league's newly announced agreement with Univision. While the match will be streamed on the Univision Deportes Facebook page, the matches will be broadcast in English. The matches will include graphics, polls and questions for fans to participate in and interact with during the match. Saturday's match marks the first of 22 matches to be streamed on Facebook over the course of the season as part of the agreement.
Both clubs are coming off of strong victories, with Chicago notching a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake at home last Saturday.
Atlanta's starting XI (4-2-3-1) includes goalkeeper Alec Kann -- Tyrone Mears, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Greg Garza – Carlos Carmona, Julian Gressel – Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron, Yamil Asad – Josef Martinez.
The scarf-bundled crowd huddled into the University of Minnesota's football stadium on Sunday where Minnesota United will play until its soccer-specific stadium is completed in St. Paul. Josef Martinez had a hat trick and Miguel Almiron scored twice as Atlanta quickly spoiled Minnesota's home opener. Kevin Molino scored the only goal for Minnesota.
After winning in the snow in Minnesota last week, Atlanta is looking for their first home point on Saturday. While they led during much of the home opener against the New York Red Bulls, they gave up two points to fall 2-1 in the season opener.
Chicago is looking to rise from their last place finishes in 2015 and 2016, and are off to a 1-0-1 start for 2017. Their 1-1 draw in their season opener at Columbus snapped their five-game road losing streak, but still has them having lost 14 of their last 16 road matches.
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