Mike Magee gave the Fire the start they were looking for at Red Bull Arena on Sunday with an early goal to put the Fire in position to tale over the third seed in the playoffs and earn a bye from the Knockout Round. Quincy Amarikwa finished the scoring late on a header. Unfortunately, the until now trophy-less New York Red Bulls scored five goals in between to claim the Supporters’ Shield.
The loss marks the third time in four seasons that the Fire have missed the playoffs, and the second time in three seasons that a ferocious late-season surge came up just short, leaving the club just one spot out of a playoff berth.
The Fire started the season with three games without scoring a goal, and stumbled to a 2-7-2 start to the season before acquiring Mike Magee from the LA Galaxy in exchange for the rights to former Columbus Crew and United States midfielder Robbie Rogers. Magee, having already scored six goals by that time, including a hat trick against the Fire to open the season, took the league by storm to bring his total tally to a league-leading twenty-one and single-handedly turned the Fire into a legitimate contender. Pending Camilo’s performance for Vancouver against Colorado on Sunday night, Magee will receive the Golden Boot award, and would have been the favorite for the Most Valuable Player award had the Fire qualified for the playoffs.
Multiple changes in the front office, and likely the head coaching job, are expected to be made shortly, as the Fire continue to struggle to secure their place in the mainstream Chicago sporting scene.
The Major League Soccer playoffs will start on Wednesday and the only thing left in question is the Western Conference seeding.
The playoff field will consist of Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, LA, Montreal, New England, New York, Portland, Salt Lake and Seattle.
New York won the Supporters’ Shield and D.C. United took home the U.S. Open Cup, leaving the MLS Cup as final major championship of the year left to be decided.