The Fire aren't in action on the playing field tonight but the match between the Portland Timbers and DC United in Washington this evening will play a part in deciding whether or not the Fire's playoff hopes will still be alive after the final whistle against the Crew on Saturday night.
The expansion Timbers are tied on points with the Fire at 40 but trail in goal differential with a minus 8 total. DC United is currently sitting on 38 points and a minus 2 goal differential. Both clubs have one final match this weekend. Portland will travel to Utah to face Real Salt Lake while DC hosts Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night. The best possible result tonight would probably be a draw since both sides can max out at a point total higher than the Fire's maximum of 43 points.
A draw tonight coupled with a multiple goal Red Bulls loss in Philadelphia would put the Fire in position to claim the tenth playoff spot with a multiple goal win against the Crew. Chicago must overcome a goal differential lead of
5 6 in order to surpass New York.
If all of that miraculously happens Fire supporters will sit and hope that Portland doesn't come up with a road victory at Rio Tinto once the Columbus match has concluded.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco is back in the US tonight as Irapuato faces NASL side Atlanta Silverbacks in a friendly.
Here are the early injury reports for the Columbus match:
CHICAGO FIRE -- OUT: MF Gabriel Ferrari (L knee ACL reconstruction); DF Steven Kinney (sports hernia); DOUBTFUL: FW Cristian Nazarit (L quad strain); MF Michael Videira (L groin strain)
COLUMBUS CREW -- DOUBTFUL: MF Tony Tchani (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Robbie Rogers (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: FW Tommy Heinemann (lower back strain); MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee tightness); DF Rich Balchan (abdominal strain)
I'm pleased to announce that Jeff Krause will be joining Fire Confidential as a contributor this week. Jeff writes about the Fire at Total-mls.com and you know him here as DFBJeff. I won't be able to attend this weekend and Jeff will be providing the post game coverage of the Columbus match. Welcome Jeff!