This wasn't the end the Fire were envisioning a month ago when they pulled to within one win of first place in the Eastern Conference. Houston knocked the Fire out of MLS postseason play with a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park and exposed the fact that the team still has some growing to do before they can take the next step into title contention. Chicago once again allowed the first goal but could not recover this time.
While the finish to the season was certainly disheartening and the last month featured the worst stretch of form displayed throughout the entire year, fans should take some solace in the advancement the club has made on the field in the last 12 months. The club is in a position to challenge for playoff contention now and has a core of players that can be competitive going into next season. Additions are needed in order take the leap into Cup contention for 2013, unfortunately we'll be talking about those moves a little earlier than most had hoped.
Stay tuned for more post game coverage....
- Arne Friedrich says he would like to return to Chicago next season but nothing has been agreed to yet
- Alvaro Fernandez talks about his time with the Fire and his status for 2013
- Thoughts on the match from Patrick Nyarko, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, and Sherjill MacDonald