The Fire have seven games to play

Hill to climb

The numbers are starting to look daunting for the Fire.They have seven games to play, 10 points to make up and three teams to leapfrog if they hope to secure MLS' eighth and final playoff spot.

And if they don't? They will be the first Fire team to miss the postseason since 2004, the only other year they didn't reach the playoffs. Fire players insist their team isn't finished yet.

"I think we have to pretty much scratch everything that has happened up to this point," midfielder Mike Banner said afer one practice this week. "We still have a chance. There are seven games left (but) we have to start a new season."

Since July 3, the Fire have gone 2-6-3. They're mired in a seven-game winless streak and have scored only two goals in their last five games.

Saturday's home match against Seattle (10-9-6, 36 points) is a good place to start. The Sounders are one of the teams the Fire are chasing. They also will meet another contender Wednesday when they travel to San Jose.

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