Chicago acquired Juninho, the 28-year-old Brazilian, in late December, after he spent last year in Mexico with Club Tijuana. Three weeks later, the Fire pulled off a shocking trade for McCarty, the former captain of the New York Red Bulls, to solidify their presence in a midfield that has been porous in recent seasons.
"Both those guys have a ton of experience, and it's something different than I think Chicago's had in the past couple years," RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said. "They've been trying out a lot of new guys. I think that'll bring some stability to their team."
McCarty, 29, spent the last six seasons with the Red Bulls, helping ease the sting of losing high-profile players such as Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill while the club was in transition. He had 14 goals and 27 assists during his time in New York in which the Red Bulls won a Supporters' Shield title. Juninho became a staple of the Galaxy dynasty with Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and David Beckham, starting 180 matches in his six years in L.A.
"It's such a smart move to bring those particular guys," Beltran said, "two guys that will work on both sides of the ball."
Glad's status murky for Chicago
RSL likely will be without center back Justen Glad this weekend in Chicago, Jeff Cassar said. The 20-year-old defender suffered an injury in Sunday's U-20 CONCACAF Championship with the U.S. in Costa Rica. Glad took a knock to his right leg and was forced off in the 47th minute. The U.S. went on to beat Honduras 5-3 in penalty kicks. Glad, who started 27 matches at center back in 2016, is expected to be evaluated this week by the RSL medical staff.
"He's in a little bit of pain right now," Cassar said, "so it's obviously not looking good for this weekend."
Below-freezing temperatures and whipping winds don't bother Beckerman. The 34-year-old midfielder said he's looking forward to playing at Toyota Park on Saturday, where the forecast calls for a high of 27 degrees and accompanying high winds — and even possibly snow.
"I like playing in the snow at all times," he said. "It's like an old snow day. It should be fun. I think we've been lucky the past couple years in Chicago when it's been great weather, so we were due for one."
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