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Fire hopes to cool off 'Caps

5:42 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC will put its unbeaten home record on the line on Sunday as the club welcomes the Chicago Fire to BC Place.

The Whitecaps recorded one of their biggest wins when the team downed Seattle Sounders FC, 2-0, last weekend to win its first game in the Cascadia Cup.

And now Martin Rennie's men will try to build on that result with another three points at home, where the club is 6-0-3 this season.

"We're playing with much more confidence and we're going forward more and creating more chances, being more dangerous. When you're a threat to score goals that helps you defend as well," Rennie said.

Kenny Miller scored early in the match and Darren Mattocks came off the bench to net the insurance tally 11 minutes from time.

The goal from Mattocks in particular was important as it was his first since May 11, and his third of the campaign.

After enjoying a strong season last year, Mattocks has had a difficult time earning consistent minutes, and the Whitecaps will be hoping he can build last weekend's performance.

"It's been a hard few months for him and obviously he's found himself out of the team and after the season he's had last year he expected it to be different for him," said Miller. "We've seen flashes throughout the season of what Darren can bring and the electric pace that he's got allowed him to have multiple chances tonight. Hopefully that will kick him on and we can see the best of him this year."

The Fire saw their six-game unbeaten run come to a halt last time out with a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City.

Sporting got off to a quick start with two goals in the first 10 minutes, while Chicago was only able to pull a goal back through Mike Magee.

The poor start is nothing new to the Fire, who have allowed five goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season.

"We need to have the mentality of being the first to challenge for the ball and not let it bounce, and sticking with your marks - that's just not for the first ball, but the second ball, too, and clearing it out," defender Austin Berry said. "The older guys and leaders need to make sure everyone is ready to go, and I think we were. We just weren't tight enough, just not sharp enough for the first 10 minutes."

Improved play from the Fire defense would be a big boost to goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi, who is filling in between the posts while Sean Johnson is away on Gold Cup duty with the United States.

Tornaghi has allowed eight goals in his three MLS starts for the Fire this season.

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