Fire needs win to seal 2nd, but fall to 5th possible
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media October 26, 2012 9:06PM
Updated: November 28, 2012 6:12AM
On Saturday the Fire hosts D.C. United in a pivotal regular-season finale at Toyota Park. If the Fire wins, it locks up second place in the Eastern Conference. If it loses, the Fire could fall to fifth and play in the conference’s play-in game on the road.
“Tomorrow is a very good indicator for us,” center back Arne Friedrich said. “I hope we’re going to deliver very good in this game and see if we can hold the pressure.”
The Fire is in third place, one point behind second-place United. A win would give the Fire home-field advantage against the third-place team in the conference semifinals.
If the New York Red Bulls, who are fourth, two points behind the Fire, beat the Philadelphia Union earlier Saturday and the Fire loses, the Fire would fall to fourth.
The team likely would fall to fifth if the Houston Dynamo beats the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. The Fire and Dynamo would be tied with 56 points, but the Dynamo owns the first tiebreaker, goals for (48-45).
Fortunately, the Red Bulls play the earlier game. So Fire coach Frank Klopas will have an idea where his team stands heading into the game against United. The players aren’t planning on paying any attention to the Red Bulls’ game.
“I can shut it out,” midfielder Patrick Nyarko said. “I make it all about what the big picture is — focusing on the other team, the matchups and all that stuff — as opposed to looking at results and all that.”