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Fire downs Chivas USA, locks up second seed in Eastern Conference playoffs


The Chicago Fire could have settled for a draw in its regular season finale against Chivas USA, needing only a point to qualify for the post-season, but the Fire snapped a six-match winless skid and sparked some potential momentum by scoring a 1-0 victory at Toyota Park on Thursday night in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco came off the bench in the second half and provided an immediate impact, sending a corner kick in front of goal that Chivas USA's Eduardo Lillingston headed into his own net in the 67th minute. The goal stood up to help the Fire secure a playoff berth and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The defeat clinched the MLS Supporters Shield for best regular season record for the Columbus Crew, winners for a second straight season. Chivas USA still has a chance to secure the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, but will need to register more points than the Los Angeles Galaxy in its final weekend of the season. A Chivas USA win vs. Houston, coupled with a Galaxy tie or loss, would give Chivas USA the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

The Fire became the sixth team to secure an MLS playoff berth, meaning two spots remain, with six teams vying for those places. The Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC currently reside in those spots, but Toronto FC, FC Dallas, D.C. United and Real Salt Lake go into the final weekend with a chance to reach the playoffs.

What did you think of the Fire's win on Thursday night? Think Chicago can make some noise in the playoffs? See Chivas USA finishing on top in the West?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I am confident that Blanco will see more of the field during the playoffs but the Fire played very, very well in the first half without him and created some excellent chances that just weren’t finished. It amazes me that he is seen as a hero in this game when all he did was put a corner kick in that a defender inadvertently mishit into his own goal. What a bunch of crap. Personally, I think he adds a lot of energy and he does change the game, especially when he comes in off the bench for 30 minutes. He plays better then and the Fire play better than when he starts and plays 90.

    Secondly, Nyarko played one of the best overall games I have seen him play–it wasn’t perfect but he did do reasonably well running on the outside wing in the first half. He has a ways to go but I am not sure he will ever be a quality forward so hopefully the rm spot will be a better fit for him.

  2. Bob,

    Sacha not only is NOT a goal scorer, he’s not even a leader. He’s a spoiled child living the dream of rockstar-MLS stud-chokes-in-big-games guy. He’s the highest paid goat and occassionally misses a penalty kick that costs his teams victories. (see NY REd Bulls earlier this month).

    Sacha really needs to figure it out.

  3. Chicago got the job done. As for the playoffs, Blanco needs to see more action and it would be a big benefit if Segares, Conde, and Thorrington could see any action. I expect Chicago to at least reach the ECF.

  4. Western conference depends on San Jose. Hopefully they can pull out at least a draw and give Houston and Chivas a chance to play for the win.

  5. WRONG

    Amongst the teams tied on 39 pts (DC, TFC, FCD, NE) the only scenario where Toronto holds the tiebreaker barring a major shift in Goal differnece this weekend is versus DC.

    New England is the only team that holds its own destiny in its hands of those teams this weekend and they get the last game of the weekend versus a team with nothing to play for.

    SO it’ll all come down to Sunday afternoon no matter what goes ont eh rest of the weekend.

    (SBI-Steve, Toronto beat the Revs and tied them, thus TFC holds the tie-breaker on New England. If Colorado and Toronto FC win, New England is out.)

  6. Rolfe- sad to see him leaving :(, he was quality last night
    Banner- this kid has a bright future. He showed skill even though he was forced out of position due to injuries
    Pappa- hopefully he doesnt go to spain, and hopefully Klopas signs this kid
    Nyarko- its about time he found a spot where he can excel, however with rolfe leaving he might go back up top
    Baggio- i like how this kid is developing. with blanco possibly resigning we might see this kid get some quality time filling in for the aged player and taking over in 2 yrs


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