Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Fire will open the home portion of their 2015 schedule on Saturday when the club welcomes Vancouver Whitecaps FC to Toyota Park.
The Fire opened the season on the road against the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy last Friday at the StubHub Center and got off to less-than- desirable start, suffering a 2-0 loss to the Galaxy.
Both sides traded blows at the start of the second half, but Los Angeles went in front midway through the second half when Jeff Larentowicz failed to deal with a cross from the right flank, gifting an unmarked Jose Villarreal a sitter to finish from close range.
The Galaxy spurned a chance to double the advantage in the 79th minute when Stefan Ishizaki broke free on the right side of the box but elected to shoot instead of slipping it into the path of an unmarked Robbie Keane. Ishizaki's shot trickled just wide of the far post, keeping the Fire within touching distance.
It proved to be an inconsequential miss, though, as Keane found the back of the net two minutes later. Omar Gonzalez lumped the ball into the box to find Baggio Husidic, who nodded the delivery to the center of the penalty area. Keane was first to react, pouncing on the loose ball and uncorking a first- time effort past Sean Johnson to put the win beyond any doubt.
After falling to LA, the Fire are certainly looking forward to playing in front of the home fans.
"It's good to be home, good to be training out of Toyota Park laying in your own bed and eating your own food for once," said Fire head coach Frank Yallop It feels good and hopefully it shows when we turn up on Saturday."
Vancouver, meanwhile, also hopes to collect its first win of the season after suffering a 3-1 defeat against Canadian rivals Toronto FC at BC Place.
Vancouver opened the scoring in the 19th minute former Portland Timbers defender Pah Modou Kah got things started with an excellent ball over the top to new striker Octavio Rivero. Rivero took a quick touch to control and passed it calmly into the far corner.
TFC's superstars combined to bring the Reds level on 32 minutes when Sebastian Giovinco did well to free himself from his mark before sliding a cutting through ball to the feet of Jozy Altidore, who rounded Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted and fired it into the empty net.
The visitors then took the lead in the 59th minute as Benoit Cheyrou sprayed one down the left flank for Morrow to chase. Justin Morrow got to the ball at the end line and whipped it across the face of goal where Robbie Findley was in the right place at the right time to smash it into the roof of the net.
Altidore completed his double two minutes from time when he beat Ousted with a penalty kick in stoppage time after bring brought down in the box by Kah.
"You've always got to learn in every game, not just when you win but when you lose," Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said. "I learn more from when we lose than when we win because sometimes you get caught up in the emotions and you get caught up in how well you did when you win a game of football. When you lose, you analyze a bit more and you should always analyze whether you win or lose."