Three down, one to go. With just one match remaining in the 2013 MLS regular season, Chicago Fire finally face a “win andyour in” situation. With a win on Sunday in New York the Fire will assure themselves a spot in the 2013 postseason. After the atrocious start to 2013 the fact that the Fire face a situation where they can still control their own destiny is a testament to everything this club and its supporters stand for – “Tradition, Honor, Passion”.
Of course, all is not sunshine and roses for the Men in Red. With their playoff hopes on the line Saturday night the team came out flat and uninspired against a pretty terrible Toronto FC side. A 63’ minute penalty kick from Mike Magee was the only goal for either side, sending the Fire to a 1-0 win that left supporters with a mixture of emotions. Happy that the club was one step closer to the playoffs, but a little worried about the way the club played when everything was on the line.
What I saw:
The club looked to receive a spark with Arevalo Rios returning from international duty, however it wasn’t until he made way for Alex that the team really started to look dangerous in the final third.
Juan Luis Anangono continued to impress me with his ability on and off the ball. He took a few shots that were either just wide or off the post, but I think this guy can really play. The only thing I worry about is the “MacDonald effect” in the offseason.
As much as it pains me to say this, Bakary Soumare had another great game at the back. Since coming back from his red card suspension, Soumare has played very well, in my opinion.
How the Fire qualify for a playoff spot:
Take a look at what Jeff Crandall has put together over at http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2013/10/playoff-math-all-possible-scenarios-where-fire-can-finish-weekend
Finally, this is what all Fire fans have been waiting for since last Halloween. A chance to make up for the ugly knock-out round loss to Houston. The playoffs have already started for this club. They started weeks ago. Win and you move on. It’s as simple as that.