Published February 05, 2015
Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Fire will be eyeing a big response on Wednesday at Toyota Park when the club welcomes Vancouver Whitecaps FC to town.
The Fire's last match came one week ago in a very forgettable 5-1 defeat at San Jose, and you can bet that head coach Frank Yallop will be eager for his team to bounce back that poor display.
Vancouver, meanwhile, continues to pile up one point at a time as the team is coming off a 2-2 deadlock with FC Dallas on Sunday, the club's third successive draw.
Chicago has managed just three wins this season, and only one in its last nine league outings, but three points on Wednesday would be huge for a Fire team that is still reeling from the humbling setback in San Jose.
Yallop returned to San Jose for the first time as an opposing coach after spending nine seasons in charge of the Earthquakes. But his former side certainly didn't roll out the welcome mat as Shea Salinas scored just before halftime to put the 'Quakes up 1-0 at the break.
San Jose then piled on in the second 45 minutes, netting four more goals to hand Chicago its most lopsided defeat of the campaign.
The result definitely won't please the coach, and he sounded a bit concerned after the match about his team's overall effort.
"If you look at the game as a whole, we were really poor," Yallop said. "I thought San Jose played really well and that usually ends in a bad result for us. It was a disappointing night for our group. We were really flat defensively and we seemed disinterested, which is alarming."
The performance was absolutely below par, and now the task for the Fire will be to bounce back with a good effort on Wednesday and leave last week's game in the rearview mirror.
"We really can't take a lot from this game," Fire midfielder Matt Watson said following the San Jose contest. "I think it will be best if we just put it behind us, because there are not a lot of positives you can take from it. We're going to try and put this one behind us and move on and kind of start from last week as opposed to this week."
The Whitecaps face a tough challenge of their own as the team will be playing just a few days after a 2-2 home draw with FC Dallas.
Darren Mattocks got Vancouver off to a good start in the 11th minute, but Dallas netted two goals in the span of 10 minutes through Blas Perez and Michel to take a 2-1 halftime lead.
But Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson had to be pleased with how his team played in the second half as Pedro Morales tallied the equalizer to give his side a point.
"Credit to the guys in there, they give me everything," Robinson said after the draw. "They really, really give me everything. I can't ask for any more. It's a fine line this game, between winning and losing, and I think you've seen that today. We're that close, but we're that far."
Vancouver has been close in its last three outings, but if the team is going to move toward the top of the Western Conference and out of the middle of the table, some of those results need to be wins.