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The Vancouver Whitecaps know shutting down Chicago Fire star Mike Magee will be essential if they're to keep their five-game unbeaten run alive.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps are flying high with a five-game unbeaten run, but they know if that streak is to continue they’ll have to hold off a Chicago Fire side on Sunday that’s almost as hot.

The Fire had a six-game unbeaten stretch of their own going until losing 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

The Whitecaps know if they are to be successful this weekend, they’ll likely have to shut down Mike Magee, who joined from the LA Galaxy in late May and has been electric since, scoring five goals in six games.

“Chicago have been on a good run of form,” goalkeeper Brad Knighton said this week at the University of British Columbia after a training session. “They’ve had a lot of home games and now they’re going to go on a rough stretch here.

“But picking up Mike was a huge acquisition for them, and he’s a proven goalscorer in this league whether it’s playoffs or regular season, he’s deadly at any instant…they’ve got some firepower going forward, but as long as we perform like we have at BC Place, I think everything will be fine.”

The Whitecaps are likely to play a lineup similar to the one that played last weekend in a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, although there’s a chance Corey Hertzog might be dropped on the right hand side for Daigo Kobayashi. Hertzog is fit and trained this week, but Kobayashi looked good after coming on as a substitute last week to replace him, and could keep the spot.

Andy O’Brien continues to edge toward a return from his hamstring problem, but at best is only likely to make the bench as Brad Rusin and Johnny Leveron performed well last weekend.

“For us, we’re at the half-way point of the season,” midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said. “We’re in where we want to be – we’re in amongst it. That’s the important thing. We’ve got a good run of games coming up where we can keep ourselves right in that top half, top three.

“That’s what the ambition should be, and that’s what we should want to achieve as players.”

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