Game Notes: Fire can take Challenge Cup with win or draw Saturday vs. Vancouver

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Chicago Fire will look to take their first hardware of the season as a win or draw Saturday night vs. Vancouver (live stream at 4pm CT on would secure the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup for the Men in Red.

*A weather update: Heavy rain fell overnight here in Charleston and is forecast with a mix of thunderstorms throughout the day. At time of kickoff this afternoon, the local forecast calls for 58 degrees, with a 70% chance of precipitation.

HIGHLIGHTS: Fire 2, Battery 1 (2/20/2013)



*Fire fans will remember last year’s Challenge Cup finale vs. Charleston was cancelled due to potential injury concerns playing on the water-logged pitch at Blackbaud Stadium when similar weather conditions occurred throughout the day here.


*Should Saturday’s doubleheader be cancelled, the Fire would take the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup.


*Should both games go a certain way, an interesting tie-breaking condundrum could occur... Lets just hope the Fire take care of business. 


*In case you missed it Friday, forward Quincy Amarikwa has joined Fire camp. Amarikwa played 28 minutes as a guest player and drew the eventual game-winning penalty kick in the team’s 1-0 win over San Jose on February 9.


*Since then, Fire head coach Frank Klopas has acknowledged the team was trying to secure the UC-Davis product’s services from Toronto FC. With his re-arrival in camp, a deal should be imminent.


*Just like the Fire, Vancouver has had a new arrival in Charleston, as former West Ham, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has officially joined the team. Though he’s here in the Palmetto State, the former England U-21 international isn’t expected to see time Saturday night.

*After Klopas basically utilized two different teams in the 2-1 victory over Charleston on Wednesday, expect Saturday’s game vs. Vancouver to be played much more like a regular season game, in order to push starters for next Sunday’s season opener at LA Galaxy.


*After an ankle injury suffered in last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Houston, defender Gonzalo Segares did train with the team Friday afternoon but no decision has been made as to his status for tonight’s match.


*While the Fire have fallen behind in both previous Challenge Cup matches, Saturday’s opponents Vancouver have gone ahead in their two games.

*Last Saturday the Whitecaps used a brace from rookie Kekuta Manneh and another from Daigo Kobayashi to run out to a 3-0 lead on Charleston before hanging on for a 3-2 victory.


*On Wednesday, Vancouver went up 1-0 through Corey Hertzog in the 27th minute before two goals from Will Bruin and Adam Moffat in as many minutes forced them into their first loss of preseason with a 2-1 defeat vs. Houston.


*The Fire are 1-1-1 all-time vs. Whitecaps FC, using Pavel Pardo’s first half free kick to earn a 1-0 victory in the last meeting on July 14, 2012.


* The Fire enter Saturday’s game with a 4-1-1 preseason record (2-1-1 vs. MLS teams)

* Previous Results: 2-0 win vs. Florida Gulf Coast (Jan. 27), 2-1 L vs. Columbus Crew (Jan. 30), 1-1 draw vs. Chivas USA (Feb. 5), 1-0 win vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Feb. 9), 3-2 win vs. Houston Dynamo (Feb. 17), 2-1 win vs. Charleston Battery (Feb. 20)

* Fire Goal Scorers: Jeff Larentowicz (2), Yazid Atouba (2), Daniel Paladini, Sherjill MacDonald, Alex, Austin Berry

* Vancouver enter Saturday’s game with a 5-1-0 preseason record (2-1-0 vs. MLS teams)

* Previous Results: 4-1 win vs. New England Revolution (Jan. 29), 2-1 win vs. Houston Dynamo (Feb. 2), 1-0 win vs. Arizona Sahuaros (Feb. 4), 3-2 win vs. Charleston Battery (Feb. 16), 2-0 win vs. College of Charleston (Feb. 17), 2-1 loss vs. Houston Dynamo (Feb. 20)

* Whitecaps FC goalscorers: Darren Mattocks (4), Paulo Jr. (3), Kekuta Manneh (2), Corey Hertzog (2) Daigo Kobayasi, Kenny Miller