Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Chicago Fire 07-14-2013 - Preview

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC
3 - 1
Final
Chicago Fire
MLS Regular Season
July 14, 2013
7:00pm EDT
BC Place
MLS LIVE

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Chicago Fire | MLS Match Preview

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs CHICAGO FIRE
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
July 14, 2013 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #184)
4 p.m. PT (SNet Pac; My50 Chi)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC put their current undefeated streak on the line when they play host to the Chicago Fire in the only meeting between the clubs this season, Sunday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC stretched their undefeated run to five games in their last match, a famous 2-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC. The Fire are coming off their first loss in seven matches, dropping a 2-1 home decision to Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 24 games; FC/gm: 20.9; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 4; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: CHI: Daniel Paladini (through July 14); Gonzalo Segares (caution accumulation; through July 14)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHI: Jeff Larentowicz
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Russell Teibert, Gershon Koffie … CHI: Daniel Paladini, Bakary Soumare
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Russell Teibert (CAN), Simon Thomas (CAN), Carlyle Mitchell (TRI) … CHI: Sean Johnson (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Fire 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Fire 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0

LAST YEAR
7/14: CHI 1, VAN 0 (Pardo 10)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • The teams have evenly split their all-time series, each with one victory, and one match drawn. The Fire won 1-0 last July 14 at Toyota Park in their only meeting, their first triumph against Whitecaps FC.
  • This is the first meeting at BC Place; the only other match in Vancouver, Aug. 7, 2011, was played at Empire Field.
  • Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. CHI: P1 W0 L1 T0 … Frank Klopas vs. VAN: P3 W1 L1 T1

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated run to five games, defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 on Saturday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 29 points from 18 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC took the lead after just four minutes. Kenny Miller received a long ball over the top from Corey Hertzog before cutting back on his right foot just inside the box and placing the ball in the bottom-right corner of Michael Gspurning’s goal.
  • The insurance tally for Vancouver came 11 minutes from full time. Substitute Darren Mattocks latched onto a Gershon Koffie flicked header to break through on goal and finish with a left-footed effort.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. Lee Young-Pyo and Gershon Koffie came back into the team for Daigo Kobayashi and Matt Watson.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-2-3): Brad Knighton - Lee Young-Pyo, Johnny Leveron, Brad Rusin, Jordan Harvey - Jun Marques Davidson - Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie - Corey Hertzog (Daigo Kobayashi 64), Kenny Miller (Matt Watson 90), Camilo Sanvezzo (Darren Mattocks 76).

TEAM NEWS

  • The first-ever Whitecaps FC victory against Seattle since the clubs have come into MLS was the club’s fourth in the last five games and extended their undefeated run to five games.
  • “I’m really pleased for them to get that result. It’s been disappointing for us not have beaten Seattle until now, but we’ve been playing really well recently, been getting good results scoring goals and tonight we defended well,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie.
  • The win also kept Whitecaps FC undefeated at home this season, now 6-0-3 at BC Place in league play, along with FC Dallas the only two unbeaten teams on their home grounds.
  • “We’re playing with much more confidence and we’re going forward more and creating more chances, being more dangerous. When you’re a threat to score goals that helps you defend as well – I think that’s six wins in our last nine games, two ties in those games, including tonight,” said Rennie. “Our next games are at home, so we’re playing with confidence, we’re in good form and we really need to keep working at it and keep getting better.”
  • Darren Mattocks scored his third league goal of the season, his first since May 11 when he netted against the LA Galaxy.
  • “It’s been a hard few months for him and obviously he’s found himself out of the team and after the season he’s had last year he expected it to be different for him,” said Kenny Miller. “We’ve seen flashes throughout the season of what Darren can bring and the electric pace that he’s got allowed him to have multiple chances tonight. Hopefully that will kick him on and we can see the best of him this year.”
  • Miller scored his sixth goal of the season, his fourth in seven games since returning to lineup from a hamstring injury.
  • “He’s a top player, he’s played at the highest level and he’s scored a lot of goals in his career. He’s highly regarded by many people who are coaching and playing at the highest level,” said Rennie. “His ability to move in the box is something that he brings to our team, and I think in the last couple of games we’ve seen how big a difference he can make.”
  • After going 14 games without a shutout as a team, Brad Knighton kept his second clean sheet in the last three matches, his only two in his eight starts this season.
  • “If Brad’s playing [well], he’s going to be in goal and that was one of the best performances I’ve seen from him,” said Rennie. “… These last few games he’s really grown as a goalkeeper and become much more aggressive, he’s come off his line much more quickly, shutting down the angles far faster. And again he was a very important player. He knows there’s competition for that place, so it brings the best out in everybody.”
  • Said Knighton: “That’s the best game I’ve ever played, by far, hands down. I’m motivated every game, I don’t want to be dropped from a team,” Knighton said. “It’s my job to put in performances like that to make him (Rennie) think twice about taking me out of the lineup. It’s been nice to have him (David Ousted) here because it’s going to push me and make me better and that’s what you want in any position.”

CHICAGO FIRE
The Chicago Fire had their undefeated streak put to an end after six games, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Fire are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points from 17 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting were up by two goals on the road before the game was 10 minutes old. A long throw-in from the left flank bounced around the heart of the area and Benny Feilhaber volleyed a blast from the edge of the box that hit the left-hand post and flew behind goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi.
  • Two minutes later, Graham Zusi doubled the advantage when he collected a pass from Seth Sinovic well outside the left corner of the penalty area and curled a shot -- or perhaps an over-hit cross -- into the upper corner of the goal.
  • The Fire pulled a goal back in the 38th minute, when Jeff Larentowicz won a header near the center circle which bounced all the way through to Mike Magee. He was alone through on goal and calmly placed a shot past Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
  • The Fire finished the game a man down after midfielder Daniel Paladini was shown a straight red card for a tackle from behind on SKC's Dom Dwyer in the midfield.
  • Fire head coach Frank Klopas made no changes to the team that took a 3-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Toyota Park.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Paolo Tornaghi - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere 72), Jeff Larentowicz, Alex (Daniel Paladini 46; ejected 89), Dilly Duka - Chris Rolfe (Sherjill MacDonald 61), Mike Magee.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Fire lost at Toyota Park for the first time in five matches, since a 1-0 defeat by Philadelphia on May 11.
  • “It was all in the start,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said. “We needed to have a good start in the game. It's difficult when you fall behind that early, 2-0, because on a hot day like this you have to put a lot of energy in to come back. We got the one goal which was important.”
  • The Fire have conceded five goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season, tied for second-most in MLS, one behind New York’s six.
  • “We need to have the mentality of being the first to challenge for the ball and not let it bounce, and sticking with your marks – that’s just not for the first ball, but the second ball, too, and clearing it out,” defender Austin Berry said. “The older guys and leaders need to make sure everyone is ready to go, and I think we were. We just weren’t tight enough, just not sharp enough for the first 10 minutes.”
  • The Fire have also allowed the opening goal in a game 14 times this season, most in MLS, going 4-8-2 when conceding first. D.C. United (0-12-1) is next. When they score first, the Fire are 2-0-0, the only team with a perfect record when scoring the opening goal.
  • “It’s always difficult coming back. We talk about it, but now we have to make sure that we do have better starts to games where we don’t fall behind,” said Klopas. “That’s something we have to keep working on and talking about. Also [we need to start] going out there with the mentality to start the game from the beginning.”
  • Mike Magee for a fifth time in six league games since coming to the Fire, his ninth goal in all competitions with Chicago. He moved into a tie with Montréal’s Marco Di Vaio atop the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • “We started the game like [crap] and we somehow managed to finish it off even worse,” Magee said. “I think we thought the game was tied or we were winning and we were just going to sit back and we were content. Unfortunately, we were down 2-1, so it wasn't a very good gameplan. … I can't remember a time in the second half where, during the run of play, we had three players in our attacking box. It's a joke. It's unacceptable. Basically, it seemed like we were just content to leave the game 2-1.”
  • Paolo Tornaghi started his second consecutive match with Sean Johnson on national team duty with the USA for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and conceded two goals for a second consecutive game. Tornaghi has allowed eight goals in his three MLS starts this season.
  • “I felt a lot better than I did in the game before,” Tornaghi said. “The game in the beginning I was a little nervous because it had been several games since the last time I played, but now I’m rolling and it will get better game after game.” Said Klopas: “He wasn’t inexperienced last year when he stepped in and played so I don’t look at it like that. I think it’s a position where you need games and rhythm to play and things that that will happen.”
  • On Wednesday, the Fire lost 3-2 to Mexico’s Club América in a friendly at Toyota Park. Daniel Paladini and Sherjill MacDonald scored for the Fire but a Luis Gabriel Rey goal and two América penalty kicks provided the margin of victory.
  • Here’s the Fire team: Paolo Tornaghi; Wells Thompson (Brendan King 86’), Michael Videira, Hunter Jumper, Gonzalo Segares (Shaun Francis 46’); Dilly Duka (Victor Pineda 46’), Alex (Corben Bone 46’), Daniel Paladini, Joel Lindpere (Yazid Atouba 63’); Quincy Amarikwa, Maicon Santos (Sherjill MacDonald 63’)