The Vancouver Whitecaps won their first game since mid-June, ending a run of seven matches without a victory, with a 4-2 thrashing of the Chicago Fire. Both clubs are at the bottom of the standings in their respective conferences and despite the win Vancouver still have the fewest points in MLS with 19. But on the day the Whitecaps were rampant, and while it's been a frustrating inaugural season for Vancouver the potential they flashed today and at other points throughout the year should give the team's supporters more than a few things to look forward to in the future.
Eric Hassli got the scoring started in the first minute after Yamith Cuesta whiffed on a clearance and allowed the ball to slide right into Hassli's path. Vancouver's DP striker then fired into the corner past a diving Sean Johnson. Chicago leveled in the 23rd minute thanks to a fantastic individual effort from Dominic Oduro. Oduro chased down a clever flick on from Sebastián Grazzini and dribbled past two defenders before an emphatic finish into the roof of Jay Nolly's net.
Vancouver came right back to take the lead just seconds later when Hassli slid the ball to Gershon Koffie in space who took one touch and drove a low ball in from well outside the area, a tricky hop allowing the shot to bounce past an outstretched Johnson. Vancouver very nearly had another before the half after Cuesta dragged Camilo Sanvezzo down inside the area, but Johnson stopped Hassli's well-taken penalty to keep the gap at one. It didn't take the Whitecaps long to grab another though, with Camilo sliding a low drive from a tight angle past Johnson in the 48th minute.
Hassli would get the brace that was earlier denied by Johnson and seal the win for Vancouver in the 72nd minute and put the game out of reach for the home side, pouncing on the rebound from a free kick and first hitting the post before finally putting the ball away. Orr Barouch would get one back for Chicago in the 80th minute to bring the deficit back to two, but it was too late for the Fire to mount a comeback of any real significance and things ended 4-2, Hassli's brace proving the difference.
The Fire's own winless streak stands at eight, now longer than the run of futility just ended by the Whitecaps. chicago's last win in MLS came on June 12th, a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew. though Chicago have the edge in points over the Whitecaps, their two wins on the season is fewer than any team in MLS. This is just the third win of the season for Vancouver with all three coming at Empire Field. In seasons this difficult, wins this stand out for teams like the Whitecaps-especially given that this is just their first season in the league. For Chicago, the hurt keeps on rolling and the team that was once one of the best in MLS must figure a way to get the ship righted.