Though a 3-0 loss to Brimstone Cup rivals FC Dallas Saturday night left a sour taste for all fans of the Chicago Fire, the club’s hopes for the 2011 MLS Cup playoffs are still alive going into this Friday’s match against the Columbus Crew.
As the Fire sit on 29 points, they’ll undoubtedly need to win all four remaining regular seasons matches to pass the eighth seeded San Jose Earthquakes (41 points). In that scenario, they’ll also need to hope for the Quakes to drop their four remaining regular season matches and have Eastern Conference foes Kansas City gain no more than seven points in their last four games.
It’s an uphill battle, but there’s reason to at least believe the Fire could pull of the unlikely… It all starts this Friday as the club celebrates its founding on October 8, 2007 with their 13th Anniversary match against the Columbus Crew. The team then has three opponents with which they could defeat, finishing the season with home games against Kansas City (October 12), DC United (October 16) and away to Chivas USA (October 23).
The Fire’s final three opponents are all sides the team can defeat. The Fire earned their first victory of the season, a 2-0 win at DC United on April 17. The side dropped leads late in the season’s earlier games with Chivas USA and Kansas City, surrendering goals in the last 15 minutes of both matches and forcing the team to settle for a single point instead of three.
Is it going to be a battle? Yes, but there’s still reason to believe and what better way to start a comeback on the night of the club’s anniversary.