Not A Pretty Picture

The Fire don't return to full training until Wednesday ahead of the weekend re-match with Seattle Sounders.  Seattle, however has a Champion's League match in Mexico against Monterrey on Wednesday night.  The game is a must win since Chicago is now a full ten points behind Seattle for the eighth and final spot with two games still in hand.  A loss at home on Saturday night could be the final nail in the coffin. 

With seven matches remaining the Fire need to essentially run the table in order to have a realistic chance at qualifying for post season.  Of course, given recent form that is not realistic in and of itself but I'll look at it anyway.  Here's a rundown of each contender's remaining fixtures with possible outcomes.

Fire

Remaining Matches: Seattle, @San Jose, @FC Dallas, Columbus, Kansas City, DC, @Chivas

If I'm sipping red Kool Aid and believe that the Fire will hold true to my original predictions I'll assume that the team can finish the season on a 5-1-1 run.  Not gonna happen?  Okay, bear with me here.......those results would give them a total of 42 points.

Seattle

Remaining Matches: @Chicago, Toronto, @Kansas City, Chivas, @Houston

For the sake of this exercise I'll go ahead and predict home wins against TFC and Chivas.  The Sounders finish the year on a 2-1-2 run and a total of 44 points.  Of course, that's also assuming the Fire win on Saturday. 

Colorado

Remaining Matches:@Real Salt Lake, Philadelphia, DC, @FC Dallas, @Los Angeles, Real Salt Lake

If the Rapids have a nightmare end to the season and lose their last three matches to a trio of the top contenders in the West they can still finish ahead of the Fire with home wins over DC United and Philadelphia.  Let's go with 2-4-0 for Colorado and a season ending points total of 43.

San Jose

Remaining Matches: @Toronto, Chicago, @Columbus, @DC, Houston, Chivas, @Kansas City

The upcoming match with the Fire is pivotal in order to keep hope alive.  Of course, that's assuming the Fire actually win a home game and beat Seattle on Saturday night.  Unfortunately the Earthquakes have three winnable games against DC, Houston, and Chivas still on the docket.  I'm assuming the Fire can coax a draw in San Jose.  The Quakes finish the season 3-2-2 on 47 points.

Toronto FC

Remaining Matches: San Jose, @Seattle, @Chivas, Columbus, @DC

The Reds did something the Fire could not this past weekend.  They held the mighty Dynamo scoring machine scoreless in a 2-0 win.  The Fire allowed a remarkbly bad four goals against a Houston team struggling to even score once.  If Toronto wins their two remaining home fixtures, loses in Seattle, and ties the other match against Chivas that puts them on 41 points to finish the year. 

Kansas City

Remaining Matches: Houston, FC Dallas, @New York, Seattle, @Chicago, @New England, San Jose

The Wizards revived their playoffs hopes with a win against Chivas this weekend.  They are now four points ahead of the Fire in the table with the same amount of games played.  They have a tough remaining road ahead with a must win home game against the Dynamo on Wednesday night.  I'll say KC beats Houston and New England while managing draws against Seattle and San Jose at home.  That would place them at 2-3-2 to close out the year and 38 points. 

Here's the current playoff table.

If the above holds true and the Fire miraculously find their form to go on a 5-1-1 run here's what the playoff picture will look like. (I'm assuming the top 5 are in, pending monumental collapse) :

1. Los Angeles Galaxy

2. Real Salt Lake

3. Columbus Crew

4. New York Red Bulls

5. FC Dallas

6. San Jose - 47 points

7. Seattle - 44 points

8. Colorado - 43 points

A 5-1-1 record and 42 total points will still not be enough to qualify.  In fact, they would still miss out by one point even if Colorado has a late mini collapse.  That would be an almost poetic end and a final gut punch in a season full of them. 

Like I said.....not a pretty picture.

Comments

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  • I've already conceded.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Maybe Fire fans aren't as gullible as Cubs fans.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    There will be no playoffs this year, no how, no way. Nothing to look forward to until the draft, unless they traded the pick for Ljungberg. (hopefully the front office learned how not to spend your DP money for next year)

  • In reply to oliotya:

    The Fire won't go 5-1-1 unless they get rid of Jinxy (Ljungberg).

  • In reply to albinosounder:

    The Fire haven't gone 5-1-1 at any point this season before Ljunberg's arrival, so he hardly can be called a jinx. His presence now won't be the reason should they fail to make the playoffs.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    that's one hell of an analysis, there. I'm impressed that you can find the inspiration (optimism?) to write so much when it's looking so bleak. Maybe they'll go 6-1, get in, and have some of that all-important MLS playoff "momentum" we hear so much about

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Not that I think it's gonna happen....I just wanted to point out the size of the hole they've dug for themselves.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    GR's soccer math is spot on. The Fire are in a deep hole thanks to their mediocre start. The additions of Ljunberg, Castillo and Segares have done little to change that, unfortunately. It's pretty easy to see that, even if the Fire flip a switch and magically get 16 pts from their last 7 matches, it may not be enough to make up the big gap between their position and the last playoff spot.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    Even the most optimistic of supporter's will find it hard to believe that such a run will happen since they've given no indication so far that they're capable of actually doing it.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    I think that the shock dismissal of Jon Bush really hurt the team in the early stages of the season.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    I thought about that for a second but it seems they were better early on than they are now.

  • In reply to cesba:

    True, but the poor start set the tone for the rest of the season.

  • In reply to cesba:

    This has nothing to do with the Fire but Columbus beat Santos 1-0 tonight in Champion's League play. I love it when MLS sides beat FMF teams.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    I tried to taste the Fire kool aid this year and I had to spit it out. Fire are 10 points out of the last spot is tough to catch up down the stretch.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    From what I remember Sounders won 4-0 against Crew, no way the Fire win against Sounders.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Seattle has a match in Mexico tomorrow. Road fatigue may factor in. Ok...it's a reach but a some point you have to begin to defend your home stadium.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Interesting review of the Toyota Park experience
    http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/toyota-park-s126/

  • In reply to Adam25:

    ok boys,,,,shake it off,,,lets go get 3 and keep on going,,,you can do it i have faith in you! signed, die hard cub fan

  • In reply to bert:

    That's good

  • In reply to bert:

    sad thing is,,,,i still think we're in this, i cant help it

  • In reply to bert:

    put the Kool Aid down Bert

  • ESPNChicago piece on Posada
    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagofire/post/_/id/632/fires-new-president-thinks-big-picture

  • What are the chances he made it out for one of the three home victories this season?

  • lol 1/5?

  • Remember back when we didn't suck...

  • In reply to dpj111:

    It's getting harder to recall those days . . . but I still have photos of winning the USOC at TP. That was a good night that I would love to see again.

    We used to be the Kings of the Cup, we need to regain our kingdom!

  • In reply to fireman451:

    It would be great to see them win that again. The good ol' days.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    see,,,,brimstone cup,,,,,lets go,,,thanks doug

  • In reply to dpj111:

    Full mid week report coming shortly......

    Castillo injured, new midfield combination possibilities, and more....

  • In reply to dpj111:

    It's not much, but we can still get the Brimstone Cup. It would be poetic justice. F*C* Dallas has held onto that thing all this time while they were crap and we were good. Now that the quality table has turned, we can yank that thing away from them down at PH Park.

  • In reply to dpj111:

    Congratualtions.....you've actually managed to find something positive to play for! ;)

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