The Fire are now sole holders of the longest consecutive road winless streak in MLS history. A remarkable 28 game run without a win away from home was capped by a loss reminiscent of many others over the last three seasons. Lackluster play (in the first half), a decent run that wasn't quite good enough to win (in the second half), and the seemingly inevitable late game heart breaker.
The team can take some solace in that they played well enough to get a point during the final 45 minutes but there is no hiding the fact that they are still missing significant pieces offensively. Perhaps Khaly Thiam will help and David Accam's return will surely change the look of the side but approaching a third of the season completed, Chicago has one win to show in eight games.
"I believe we had a very good second half and that we were close to getting a win on the road. We will keep fighting, keep working and keep the faith. In three days we have another game, so we have to prepare and recover for that opportunity. I think the guys are very committed and they have the teamwork to succeed, but we have to keep fighting and believing," said Veljko Paunovic after the match.
Wins are needed quickly in order to maintain that belief.
GK Matt Lampson (6) - Credited with nine saves but many where of the long distance and relatively routine variety. Did deliver an impressive stop against Nicolas Mezquida in the 22nd that kept the game scoreless at the time. Vancouver was able to find some gaps in the 3-5-2 in the first half but the Fire tightened up in the second. Wasn't rattled after the ugly collision with Kudo.
D Johan Kappelhof (5) - Has played better inside at center back. Perez slipped behind him on the first Vancouver goal. Excellent ball to Ramos in the 7th minute set up an early chance for Calistri.
D Jonathan Campbell (5.5) - The center of the back three had the best match of the defenders. Had more clearances (10 total) than any defender on either team.
D Joao Meira (5) - Trailed the play to his side on the first Vancouver goal. Matias Laba's pass to set the play up was perfect but Meira looks to be no more than a journeyman/spot starter at this point.
M Rodrigo Ramos (5.5) - Other than the early cross, he was better and more involved in the second half than he was in the first. Still plays a bit soft when pressure on the ball is needed.
M Arturo Alvarez (5) - Three shot attempts were wide of the mark. A few decent moments in passing combinations. 32 of 39 passes completed wasn't bad.
M Razvan Cocis (5.5) - Put in the work and helped on several recovery runs to deny possible chances. Not much going forward as Vancouver won the overall possession game 60-40.
M Michael Stephens (5.5) - Provided some connection in the final third during the first half. Set up Calistri's biggest chance in stoppage time. Wasn't bad during his forty-five minutes but there's no denying that Polster was more effective in that spot.
M Michael Harrington (5) - Didn't get much forward as a wing back. The first Vancouver goal also came from his side.
F Joey Calistri (6) - Stepped in to replace Gilberto, who wasn't one-hundred percent in training this week, and delivered some chances but didn't finish. His attempt in the 7th minute sailed high and Ousted came up big in first half stoppage time to deny him. Set up Igboananike with a good pass in the 24th.
F Kennedy Igboananike (6) - Scored the Fire's only goal and contributed two of the team's three shots on target. The other attempt was saved nicely by Ousted in the 24th. Hit the post late in the game before the Vancouver game winner.
M Matt Polster (6.5) - Replaced Stephens after half-time and his presence seemed to change the team dynamic. Cleared a ball from the goal mouth in the 58th, his steal in the 62nd led directly to the Fire goal, and a seventy yard run on the counter in the 73rd led to a shot that just missed the far post. He was in the vicinity of Perez's bicycle but sometimes the opposition just makes the play.
M Brandon Vincent (5) - Subbed in for Harrington in the 63rd. Didn't provide much more than the veteran had.
M Collin Fernandez (5) - Came in for Alvarez in the 85th.
Another turf road game in New England on Saturday.