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Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew - MLS #34 - 7:30 PM CST - Comcast Sportsnet

Fire vs. Crew
Fire vs. Crew

The end of the 2011 season is here.  Chicago has been eliminated from the playoffs prior to their last game of the year.  This battle is reminiscent of last year's October 8th battle where a down and out Fire squad dispatched a playoff bound Columbus team 2-0 at Toyota Park.  Nothing but pride is on the line tonight but that's still a big deal at the end of the day.

The Fire lead the Crew 1-0 in the season series thanks to a late Cristian Nazarit goal the last time these two teams met.  With a tie or win today, Chicago will have won the season series against Columbus, D.C., Kansas City, New England, and Toronto, tied against New York and Houston, and lost the season series to Philadelphia.  Success against the Western conference teams must be improved but it is very positive that in a rebuilding year, Chicago got the best of most of East.

I think this group of players and Fire staff deserve an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of this game regardless of the final result.  I'm not sure how many other teams that didn't make the playoffs can say that.  On to the final minutes of 2011 and on to the 2012 season.