On Sunday, as Vancouver Whitecaps welcome Chicago Fire to Canada, two teams vying for postseason positions in their respective Major League Soccer divisions will square off.
With back-to-back victories, the visitors have closed the gap on the top seven teams in the Eastern Conference to only four points, while their opponents are currently ranked 10th in the Western Division, one point out of the playoff spots.
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Chicago Fire Tips and Prediction
The Vancouver Whitecaps had an especially difficult start to the 2017 MLS season, earning just four points from their first eight games. The team of Vanni Sartini, however, made an astonishing turnaround, winning six of their following ten games and accruing 20 points out of a possible thirty to improve their standing in the race for playoff positions.
Following a 3-1 loss to Minnesota United, despite taking the lead through Lucas Cavallini, where goals from Kemar Lawrence, Luis Amarilla, and Franco Fragapane turned the game on its head in the final 20 minutes, that run ended with an impressive 1-0 victory over Conference leaders Los Angeles FC thanks to Andres Cubas’ goal in the 89th minute.
In an effort to get back on track, The Village played FC Cincinnati, but were only able to earn a point thanks to Cristian Dajome’s late equalizer. Then, last time out, they were beaten and had to settle for a draw away at Portland Timbers after Felipe Mora tied the game in the 82nd minute after Brian White had given Vancouver the lead.
Due to their recent strong play, Sartini’s team has now entered the playoff race. On Sunday, they will look to snap a three-game losing streak and move up into the top seven with what would be their eighth three-point performance of the year. They take on a Chicago Fire team looking to build on recent victories and move up the standings after their own rocky start.
Ezra Hendrickson’s team had to undergo a poor run of form after going undefeated in their first five games, going winless in their following 10 games while only collecting three points.
The Illinois team, who were in need of a change of fortunes and were near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, at least managed to defeat DC United and Philadelphia Union in a three-match span at the end of June before suffering another setback with back-to-back losses to San Jose Earthquakes and Columbus Crew.
Though they lost those games, Hendrickson’s team now appears to have moved over their difficulties after defeating Toronto FC 2-0 and Seattle Sounders 1-0 at home, respectively, behind early goals from Jhon Duran and Rafael Czichos.
Chicago Fire will try to win three straight games in the MLS for the first time in more than four years to continue their ascent towards the playoff positions after their difficult stretch. Chicago Fire are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference, four points outside the top seven.
We think Chicago Fire will continue to gain momentum and get even closer to the top seven with a third straight victory on Sunday because the hosts are now winless in three games and the visitors are coming off back-to-back victories.