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Chicago Fire v FC Toronto Preview

By Ben Schuman Stoler in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 8, 2010 5:40PM

Alright here's the thing. Over the past few disappointing weeks, it seemed as if the Fire (6-7-7) have done everything they could to blow their shot at the playoffs. They give up late goals, they give up soft goals on set pieces, they make bad decisions, and they don't collect full points at home. But - BUT - despite all that, despite sitting in 11th place at the moment, they can still make the playoffs. And everybody knows that once you're in, anything is possible.

The saga continues tonight (7:30 p.m., My50) at Toyota Park against FC Toronto. Toronto (7-9-6) sits a few spots above the Fire, but three points would catapult the Fire above Toronto and into eighth. Even though the Fire lose defender Gonzalo Segares for two days from this elbow on LA's Leonardo, Krzysztof Król is a capable replacement and the Fire will also be boosted by the return of Freddie Ljungberg from suspension, Marco Pappa from international duty (maybe), and the return to form of Nery Castillo and Collins John. In particular John, who came one late on Saturday and scored the go-ahead goal, is worth keeping an eye on. He's making it harder and harder for coach Carlos de los Cobos to start Brian McBride in his stead.

The last time these two teams played was in freakishly windy conditions in Toronto back in May (highlights above). The Fire were wiped off the pitch, losing 4-1. But - BUT - like we've said so many times since the All-Star break, now it's different. Now they're playing at Toyota Park, which sold out yet again on Saturday, and where Toronto has never won. Now, they have the talent to get the results they need. Now, as we keep saying, is the time to step up and make that talent show.

We'll see tonight.