ExLink - 07/07/18 - VANvCHI

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Chicago Fire
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 19

BC Place — Vancouver
July 7
— 10:30 pm ET

The Chicago Fire head to the Pacific Northwest full of confidence, riding a five-match unbeaten streak that has them above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference following a 3-2 win over New York City FC Saturday at home.

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC, meanwhile, are trending the other way after their second consecutive defeat, a 1-0 home loss to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

After six games without defeat, Vancouver (6-7-5) has dropped back-to-back games, getting shut out in losses to the Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids.

The lone goal they conceded Sunday was a fluky one — a save by Brian Rowe that caromed off Marcel de Jong and behind the goalkeeper in the 43rd minute. The ‘Caps had possession and put 25 shots toward the net — 10 on frame — but couldn’t get one past Tim Howard.

“Performance was very good, what we didn’t do was execute in both boxes,” Carl Robinson said. “I said that after the game and watching it back two more times, it’s exactly the same and worse. We’ve created enough chances to win three games, never mind one game and unfortunately we come out on the wrong end of some bad luck.”

  • Suspended: M - Cristian Techera
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: DOUBTFUL: GK - Stefan Marinovic (left knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kendall Waston (left groin strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Brian Rowe — Sean Franklin, Jose Aja, Doneil Henry, Marcel de Jong — Alphonso Davies, Felipe, Efrain Juarez, Brek Shea — Kei Kamara, Yordy Reyna

Chicago Fire

It’s another resume-building win for Chicago (6-7-5), which knocked off NYCFC, 3-2, at home Saturday night.

Nemanja Nikolic opened the scoring with a clinical early finish and then Aleksandar Katai added a pair of goals five minutes apart in the second half to make it three wins over the top four teams in the Eastern Conference for the Fire, who moved above the playoff line in the East. 

“Finally we passed that red line and then now we just stand above and in the group for the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean anything for one week,” Veljko Paunovic said. “We have to stay consistent, we have to keep working, building on top of what we would be assembling right now actually, and that’s the confident group that can adapt and adjust to any demand of the game, and be smart, and trying to be smart and lucky and that’s what it is. That’s how it works.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Kevin Ellis
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury), D - Drew Conner (right calf injury), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kevin Ellis (left hamstring injury), M - Daniel Johnson (head injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Diego Campos, Jonathan Campbell, Brandon Vincent, Jorge Corrales — Brandt Bronico, Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger — Aleksandar Katai, Nemanja Nikolic, Elliot Collier

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4 wins, 10 goals … Chicago Fire 2 wins, 9 goals … 2 draws
  • At Vancouver: Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 9 goals … Fire 0 wins, 4 goals … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Vancouver: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, Chicago Fire 1 (May 11, 2016)


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Michael Barwegen
4th Official: Drew Fischer
VAR: Jon Freemon