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Fire 4, Vancouver 0: First Thoughts

Who’s in first place? These guys.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Schweinsteiger playing after the Wednesday night marathon? Wow.
  • Whitecaps coming in on a bit of a run, so they’ll be a tough opponent.
  • This feels like a draw to me. 0-0? 1-1?

FIRST THOUGHT: The Fire really need to focus tonight. Tough loss in the USOC, and a hard matchup with Portland next week. They cannot be complacent and give away points tonight.

KICKOFF!

1 - Slow out of the gates: turnover, free kick, and nearly a goal allowed. Tighten it up, gentlemen.

6 - POST! Bolanos gets a bit of space and rips a shot, beating Lampson but the woodwork keeps it out.

8 - Slow start for both teams defensively, as Vancouver concede a corner early on.

11 - De Leeuw puts it on a golden plate for Niko, but he can’t control it with his right boot and it trickles back to Ousted.

14 - GOAL #15 FOR NEMANJAAAAAAAAAA NIKOLICCCCCCC!!!!! FIRE LEAD 1-0!!!

14 - Absolutely GORGEOUS job by Meira to flip the pitch to Polster, who pings it to Nikolic in the middle who BLASTS it into the back of the net!

17 - Nikolic arriving in Chicago at just the time he did was literally magic. For him to arrive right when this team put the pieces around him is what puts this team in the Supporters Shield race as well as the MPS cup.

18 - NUMBER 16 BABY!!!!!!! IT’S 2-0!!! GO CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!!!

19 - You wanna talk about in form? Look no further!

23 - Is it possible this team is STILL getting better?

24 - FYI, Toronto is losing. You know what that means...

25 - ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! ARTURO ALVAREZ WITH A BRILLIANT ONE TIMER! 3-0!!

26- IT’S TOO MUCH WINNING!!!!!

28 - Why wouldn’t Toyota Park continue to sell out at this rate?

30 - Polster lays out to block a Brek Shea shot...this team is up 3-0 and is still leaving it all on the line. Gotta love it.

31 - Nikolic looking for his third — and pushes it a bit wide. Oh yeah, that Schweinsteiger guy can still sling some passes pretty nicely.

33 - A ball goes skipping through the Fire penalty area but none of the three Whitecaps in the box could get a boot to it.

33 - Near penalty as Solignac is blocked off the ball across the 18.

39 - The sun is becoming a bit of an issue for a few players -- this game started at 6, not the normal 7:30 time (due to the Fireworks) so we’ll see if any other mistakes are made before we hit sundown.

40 - Fire have 5 minutes to close this half out strong. I’m guessing there will be some bigger names subbed off in the second half in preparation for Portland mid-week.

42 - OUR WORST NIGHTMARE - SCHWEINSTEIGER coming off due to injury for Drew Conner. Looked like he may have tweaked a groin/hammy. Ruhhhh roh.

45 - YELLOW CARD - CHICAGO FIRE - ARTURO ALVAREZ - Alvarez takes a risk slowing down a run into the box and now Vancouver have a good chance from a set piece.

45+1 - Wasted chance by the Whitecaps as they blast it over the bar.

HALFTIME THOUGHT: Simple domination, yet again. The Schweinsteiger injury scares me, but this team is annihilating everything in its path and it’s so much fun to watch.

46 - Man, it’s really nice to settle in for a second half with my feet kicked up and an ice cream sandwich in my hand. #WinningIsFun

47 - Right hip tightness for Bastian VIA the medical staff. We’ll see...

50 - Are these Valspar commercials becoming a primetime drama? Like, they’re chronicling the chameleon’s lives. It’s getting weird.

51 - A couple subs here for Vancouver — Freddy Montero comes on for Ibini-Isei, and Mezquida replaces Tchani.

52 - Freddy Montero nearly scores here, as Lampson makes a nice save...time to pull it together, D!

56 - De Leeuw nearly gets HIS goal, as he rockets a shot which is deflected wide by Ousted.

58 - Alvarez taken down in a very interesting territory...could we see 4 tonight?

59 - Oh MAN!!!!! Alvarez NEARLY scores from the set piece, and Niko NEARLY sneaks it into the near post, but Ousted keeps it out!

62 - Yordy Ryena in for Brek Shea. Brek Shea is a weird dude.

63 - Yeah...how have Vancouver scored 21 goals? They look like they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

64 - Any closer, and de Leeuw would have a goal. Center back to the rescue there to save his curling shot. It’s coming, make no mistake.

65 - Meira down again...it seems like once a game he’s in major distress on the field and winds up being alright -- hoping that’s the case tonight.

69 - Jonathan Campbell spells Arturo Alvarez. He’s had a good run here after a rough start to the season.

70 - Let’s just say Brandon Vincent probably isn’t scoring from outside the box anytime soon.

72 - I didn’t think I’d be saying this 2 months ago, but I’m really okay with Matt Lampson. Sometimes he makes a bad decision to come out for a contested ball, but other than that, he’s been really solid. Much more than Bava.

73 - Maybe it’s just me, but so far, Juninho has been the weak link in the team. I know it’s a weird time with Accam and Dax gone and Bastian out, but his impact seemed really minimal.

76 - Oh baby, Solignac nearly makes it four! Ousted making sure this doesn’t get any more embarrassing!

78 - RED CARD!!!!!! LABA SENT OFF FOR A NASTY TACKLE ON SOLIGNAC! - No excuse. Just drives the studs through Lucho’s ankle. Not even a second of hesitation from the ref.

80 - That monkey is ON DE LEEUW’S BACK in a serious way. Cuts back on his right, probably overthinking, and sends it wide right.

81 - Djordje Mihailovic! Comes on for Kappelhof who just needs a breather.

83 - Nikooooooooh-so-close! Just trickles wide!

84 - THERE IT IS, MY FRIEND! MDL MAKES IT FOOOOOOOUR-NIL!!!!!!

86 - Amazing. The Fire have shown ZERO ill effects from their 120 minute defeat to FCC this week. They’ve dominated this match from beginning to end.

90 - Techero does everything he can to get Vancouver on the board, but it’s not enough. Goal kick.

Two minutes added..

90+2 - Fire win a corner, and this one is all but done.

FINAL THOUGHT: The Fire have allowed ONE GOAL in their last 744 minutes of play, outscoring opponents 23-4 in their last 11. This is some sort of season.