One down, three to go. That has to be the thinking for Chicago Fire after their 3-0 win in DC on Friday night. With matches being ticked off the schedule the door is rapidly closing on Chicago’s 2013 playoff hopes – unless they can come away with the full 9 points in their remaining three matches. Of course mathematically it’s not impossible to qualify without full points from each of the remaining matches, but the club can certainly make it easier on themselves by running the table and leaving the rest up to chance.
Chicago came into DC on Friday night having already taken 6 out of 6 points against their rivals in MLS play this season. Coming off of their US Open Cup win earlier in the week and with the opportunity to really hurt Chicago’s playoff chances, the thought was that DC would come out strong and present a real challenge to the visitors. Not so much.
Jeff Larentowicz opened up the scoring in the 24’ and the visitors would go up 2-0 two minutes later when the much maligned Baky Soumare netted his first career MLS goal. Supersub Quincy Amarikwa would add another in the 89’ minute and the Men in Red would cruise to a 3-0 win and a season sweep of DC.
If I had to predict the outcome the rest of the way, I would predict that the Fire will capture 7 of the 9 remaining points (wins against FCD and TFC and a draw with RBNY) while Philadelphia will capture 5 of their remaining 9 (win against DCU and draws against IMFC and SKC). I also predict the New England will finish with 4 of their remaining 9 points (loss to IMFC, win and draw against Columbus). If the final three matches do play out this way Chicago and Philadelphia will end tied on 50 points with Chicago winning the tiebreaker (in this scenario).
No matter how it plays out, the final three games of the MLS season should provide a fair amount of drama and intrigue.
About Dustyn Richardson
Managing editor and Houston Dynamo writer for Total-MLS. Fan of all Houston sports teams and Manchester United supporter. Still angry at Bud Selig for moving the Astros to the American League.