Brian White scored his team-leading 10th goal early in the first half, and the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps held on for a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night.
Ryan Gauld became the Whitecaps’ all-time assists leader when he recorded his 23rd on White’s 19th-minute goal. That proved all Vancouver (10-8-7, 37 points) needed to post its first three-match, in-season, all-competitions road winning streak since 2015.
White, meanwhile, has scored in four straight MLS away matches for the Whitecaps, who posted their first clean sheet since May 20, while winning the first two on a stretch of seven consecutive road contests.
The Fire (8-10-8, 32 points), who entered just over the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, have totaled one goal during a three-match league losing streak.
Though Vancouver spent a significant amount of time in the Chicago final-third through the first 10 minutes, the home side generated the night’s best initial scoring chance. Off a pass from Brian Gutierrez, Kei Kamara was one-on-one with Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka, who punched his shot away, and kept the veteran forward from tying Landon Donovan for second on the MLS career goals list with 145.
In the 14th minute, Kamara missed another quality when his scissor attempt went high of the bar.
However, just five minutes later, Gauld streaked down the wing with the ball, then sent a tight cross in front of the net for White to just get across the goal line — after glancing the hand of Fire keeper Chris Brady.
The Whitecaps didn’t let up as Brady made a key save on a 28th-minute strike from Gauld, who also hit the post aiming at an open net one minute later. Gauld and White teamed up again in the 36th minute, but Brady got enough of his arm on the ball to stymie the latter’s shot.
Vancouver nearly gave Chicago a serious chance to equalize within the first 10 minutes of the second half, when a weird bounce of the ball almost stunned Takaoka.
The loss snapped Chicago’s 14-match regular-season, unbeaten home winning streak against Western Conference teams.
–Field Level Media