Orlando City SC News

Orlando City 2022 Match Preview: Chicago Fire

Christopher Adams
Feb 26, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Chicago Fire midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (10) passes the
Feb 26, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; Chicago Fire midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (10) passes the / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Key Players

CAM Xherdan Shaqiri

This is not only the biggest signing for the Fire, it's among the biggest signings in all of MLS. The Swiss superstar Xherdan Shaqiri played at some of the biggest clubs in the world, winning countless league titles and a pair of Champions Leagues. He's one of the best players in the history of the Swiss national team, with plenty of legendary moments in major tournaments. Shaqiri is still only 30 and will be motivated to stay at top form ahead of the 2022 World Cup. He wasn't at his best against Miami, but he still had five key passes including a ridiculous through ball that should've been an assist. If somebody's going to break through the Orlando defense, odds are it's the Alpine Messi.

CB Rafael Czichos

Chicago has a new captain and it isn't Shaqiri, it's veteran center back Rafael Czichos. The German defender spent his entire professional career between the first and second Bundesliga and brings years of high end experience to a previously woeful Fire defense. He had a strong debut in Miami, but time will tell how good a defender he'll be in MLS.

GK Gaga Slonina

If you're an American soccer fan and you're not paying attention to Gaga Slonina, you need to be. The 17-year-old goalkeeper is one of the biggest goalkeeping prospects in the entire world and one of the few teenage keepers to earn a starting spot in MLS history. Not only is he good for his age, he's just an extremely good netminder, especially as a shot stopper. He has great reflexes and a big frame. Slonina still struggles at times with his handling and distribution, but his raw talent is near the very top in the league.

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