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Rebound: Fire vs Vancouver, MLS Week 18 Preview

The Fire need come back together after a loss in Cincy to get back on track in the Supporter’s Shield race

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Chicago Fire at FC Cincinnati
Now is when we band together.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

That Cincy game. What a game. There are questions here about whether a team can even come back from that; But Pauno has made it clear that he wants a rebound on Vancouver, or really whatever team that comes after a loss like that. This puts the Fire in another position to simply run over a team for a confidence boost. Let’s take a look at this fresh meat.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are... doing fine, I guess. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything truly special about them during my research. They have a solid top 3 with Brek Shea, Freddy Montero, and Christian Techera; but they haven’t really been too potent recently. Their defense is fairly average, as I could find no special weakness or strength in their play. Really, they’re just the perfect training dummy for our purposes. Our only problem should be if they figured out our weakness. Yes, we have one. I’ll get back to you about it in a bit. Here’s some highlights.

vs. Atlanta 6/3

vs. FC Dallas 6/17

vs. Minnesota 6/24

Three Keys

Final Third Passing

Yes. That’s our weakness. While you may say that we’ve done this well, you’d be wrong. The Fire played with a weird shoot-first mentality against Cincy when we were holding them down and when we went up against Orlando we kept crossing the ball in with no real direction to it. That’s the gist of it. The player who’s really helped with it is the player who was gone for both of those games: Dax McCarty. This proves how much he deserves team MVP at this point. He’s the guy who finds those good balls into and throughout the final third. This weekend we need to figure out how to do that without him. Basti is a World Class player, but we’ve seen that him on his own won’t help. Someone else needs to step up.

Quick Turnaround

We just played a full 120 minutes. This isn’t going to be easy on the players and it certainly won’t help that we played our A-Team throughout that entire time. Not just that, we also played another game four days before that. There are going to be some very tired players out there and tired players make mental mistakes. Let’s hope their recovery is going well so there as good as they can be on Saturday.

Bounce Back

I touched on this earlier, but I think it’s important to say again. We need to take this Cincy game in stride. We need to take what we learned from it and put that towards the league. This is now our only competition going forward. This needs to be our main focus for the rest of the season. I don’t care if the team was giving 110% before, we need to push even harder now to prove that we deserve trophies this season. We’re one point off of 1st place in the league and we need to play like we should have a 10 point lead. That game was incentive and we need to take it.

Projected Lineups

Chicago Fire

Vancouver

How To Watch

Kickoff: Saturday July 1st, 6:00PM CDT

TV/Streaming: CSN-Chicago, MLS Live

So can the Fire get that rebound, or will Vancouver spoil the party? Let us know in the comments below!