Chicago Fire vs Seattle Sounders - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Will Seattle once again look vulnerable if João Paulo is unavailable?
- Another chance for Chicago Fire’s newest striker to find the back of the net
- The weather factor in a hot and humid Florida setting
|What||Chicago Fire vs Seattle Sounders|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Bay Lake, Florida)|
|When||Tuesday, July 14th at 9:00 AM ET|
|How to watch||Watch on ESPN here!|
Originally slated to be in Group A, the Chicago Fire have already needed to make a change in plans by swapping over to Group B in the MLS Is Back tournament. Due to the COVID-19-related exits of Nashville SC and FC Dallas, the Fire have found themselves in a last-minute reshuffling of the deck that has placed them against last year’s MLS Cup champions, the Seattle Sounders.
As intimidating as this may appear on paper, the Sounders were far from impressive in their MLS Is Back debut last week. Seattle was underwhelming in the recent 0-0 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. Playing primarily on the backfoot, Seattle struggled with stealing possession away from San Jose. Seattle allowed 16 shots in the scoreless draw and also missed a couple of big chances of their own.
Despite the fact that the Sounders remain as one of the favorites to clinch the tournament’s title, it appears clear that they’ll need time to find their own footing in the competition. With this in mind, the work-in-progress Chicago Fire — who brought in a number of players after failing to qualify for last year’s playoffs — now have a decent chance to get a good result.
Chicago Fire vs Seattle Sounders Odds
|Chicago Fire win||+170|
|Seattle Sounders win||+155|
Odds taken from BetMGM
This is clearly a close one. Regardless of the Fire’s lack of success last year and the fact that Sounders beat them 2-1 in their previous meeting in March, Chicago’s revamped roster has now had more time to find some cohesion and chemistry.
The João Paulo Conundrum For Seattle
Without central midfielder João Paulo in the XI against the Earthquakes, Seattle regularly looked hopeless as they attempted to take control of the game. At the time of writing, it is unclear or not whether the injured Brazilian is healthy enough to take part in the match against Chicago. If not, Seattle may find themselves with more issues regarding possession of the ball and playmaking.
Either way, other midfielders such as Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem and Cristian Roldan will have to help pick up the slack when it comes to chance creation and dictating the pace of the game.
Robert Beric’s Opportunity To Shine In Chicago’s Attack
Here’s the bad news about the Fire in 2020: Before the MLS season was suspended, they only managed to clinch one point in their two matches.
The good: They had flashes of impressive play in both of those games, including the performances of new striker Robert Beric. Brought over from Europe, the former Ligue 1 player scored in his debut game with the Fire in March and has now had more time to work and practice with the squad.
Down the line, or perhaps even in this tournament, it wouldn’t be much of a shock if the fairly unknown Slovenian were to eventually become one of the top strikers in the league.
The Florida Weather X-Factor
No matter the time of day, the MLS Is Back tournament has so far proved to be one that has been negatively influenced by Florida’s muggy weather. Thunderstorms, heat, and humidity have taken a toll on recent games that have at times lacked energy or intensity.
Will this prove to be true for Seattle vs Chicago?
A quick glance at the forecast for Tuesday morning highlights a chance of thunderstorms and temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Unaccustomed to this type of tropical weather, it is up in the air as to which team will be the one that is most impacted by this.
That’ll be a hard-fought battle between the teams that have something to prove. The distance between the two has narrowed since the start of the year, and considering the weather conditions, anything could go right or wrong on Tuesday. A draw is the best pick for the match.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast.