A big week in Chicago? No. It’s a huge week around Chicago Fire headquarters.
Over the next four night, Frank Klopas’ club (surely among the league’s best over the past two months) can secure its playoff spot. There even an outside shot the boys from Bridgeview could find themselves presiding atop the Eastern Conference standings.
It all starts tonight as the Fire host Philadelphia, a side with lots of young talent, but one already eliminated from post-season matters.
The Fire travels to Red Bull Arena for a high-profile, nationally televised contest against Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls this weekend.
Both will be occasions for Chris Rolfe to keep demonstrating his case for any post-season honors that may fall his way – and maybe even a growing case for a little national team love. Rookie center back Austin Berry gets his next chance shine. (Thanks for the swell promotional Austin Berry / Life cereal box, fellows. Nicely played!)
And amid all that …
The Fire have planned themselves a fiesta. It’s about their 15th anniversary.
And how is this for network and city-wide synergy: Eamonn Walker, the actor who portrays battalion chief Wallace Boden on the NBC drama … wait for it … Chicago Fire, will toss the ceremonial coin before kickoff.
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
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Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.
Mario Gotze could be out of action until 2016 after picking up a groin injury on international duty.
The Bayern Munich midfielder suffered a tendon tear in his abductor muscle while stretching for a ball in Germany’s 1-0 loss to Ireland in EURO qualifiers on Thursday. He was taken off in the 35th minute.
Ruled out for 10-12 weeks, Gotze is likely to miss the rest of the first half of the season for Bayern. Their last league match of 2015 is on December 19, which is 11 weeks away. The Bundesliga then goes on winter break, with Bayern’s next match not until January 23.
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Gotze will miss both of Bayern’s upcoming Champions League matches against Arsenal, which is good news for the Gunners as they are in desperate need of a result.
However, Arjen Robben is back in training and will make his return to action within the coming weeks. After starting the Bundesliga seasons with eight wins out of eight, Robben’s return would add just another weapon to Pep Guardiola’s dominant attack.
Robben has not played since being injured in early September while playing for the Netherlands, and could feature for Bayern against Werder Bremen next week.