Major League Soccer

Minnesota United-Fire Preview

Facing his old side might add a little more incentive for Francisco Calvo to help the Chicago Fire build on their most dominating performance of the season.

Calvo and the Fire look to win back-to-back matches for the first time in two seasons Saturday night against visiting Minnesota United FC, which is trying to extend its unbeaten run to four games.

The talented and outspoken Calvo was in his third season with Minnesota when that club traded him to Chicago (3-4-4) last Friday for allocation money. The Costa Rica international defender had apparently fallen out of favor in Minnesota and used the deal to voice some displeasure with United coach Adrian Heath.

Via an interview after the Fire's scoreless draw at Los Angeles FC last weekend, and reported this week by the Pioneer Press, Calvo said Heath "threw me in the trash."

Calvo did not say much about his former team following his first start with Chicago in Wednesday's 5-0 home rout of New England. But it seems like he's ready to take on his old side.

"I am enjoying the moment here, I am happy here," Calvo told the Fire's official website. "Minnesota is a pretty good team, but we are sure we can beat them."

Not exactly bulletin board material, but more about confidence after Chicago had its way with the reeling Revolution, who have conceded 18 goals in their last four games and fired coach Brad Friedel on Thursday.

Nemanja Nikolic recorded a first-half brace, Nico Gaitan had a goal with two assists and Aleksandar Katai also added two assists as Chicago snapped a three-match goal drought.

"Five goals (give) us huge confidence going into the weekend," Chicago midfielder Brandt Bronico said after scoring his first goal of the season Wednesday.

The Fire last won back-to-back games during the early summer of 2017, and lost both previous meetings with Minnesota (4-3-3). The Loons, meanwhile, have already won three times on the road this season and conceded just one goal during their current 1-0-2 stretch.

Minnesota played Seattle to a 1-1 draw last Saturday. Ike Opara put the Loons up 1-0 in the 26th minute, but the Sounders equalized in the 42nd.

"We haven't beat ourselves, we're not making individual mistakes that have cost us dearly," Heath told MLS' official website. "Individuals are not making mistakes and not costing us dear. If we can continue with that, we believe the shape of the team is good."

It's uncertain if injured Chicago forward C.J. Sapong will be available after missing Wednesday's game. Nikolic, though, has scored four of his team-leading five goals in the last three home contests.

Updated May 9, 2019

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