Just three weeks ago, first seed in the Eastern Conference was on the mind of the Fire faithful, but the team limped through the final weeks of the season and ultimately finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, failing to earn a bye out of the Knockout Round.  Fire fans go ahead and get some more sports betting options, it’s shaping up to be a good one! .  The 1-1 draw to D.C. United in the season finale, however, did draw many positives.  Pavel Pardo returned to the lineup after missing eleven games, the Fire jumped out to an early read, the offense was generating opportunities, and they were getting shots.  Unfortunately, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid proved to be too much, making several highlight-reel saves throughout the game. For the playoff schedule, check the Fire’s Schedule.

The Fire open up the post-season at Toyota Park on Wednesday, October 31st with a 8:00 PM CDT match against the fifth seed Houston Dynamo in the MLS Knockout Round.  The Knockout Round is the byproduct of Montreal’s entrance into the league this year that forced an imbalanced schedule.  To counteract the imbalance, the league also changed its postseason system, eliminating the wild cards that would follow the first, second, and third seeds in each conference and opting to go with a system with five seeds per conference and no crossover.  The Knockout round will be a single game, with the winner advancing to face first seed Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Los Angeles Galaxy host Seattle Sounders FC at 8:00 PM CDT Sunday on ESPN in the final game of the 2012 MLS regular season.  If Seattle earns a draw or a win, they will finish 2nd with Real Salt Lake in 3rd in the Western Conference.  Otherwise, Salt Lake will finish ahead of Seattle.  Regardless, the two are set to meant in the Western Conference Semifinals win the third seed hosting the first game and the second seed playing in front of their home crowd in the second game of the aggregate series.

Knockout Schedule (all times Central):

Eastern Conference Knockout Round: #5 Houston Dynamo @ #4 Chicago Fire October 31, 8:00 PM on ESPN2

Western Conference Knockout Round: #5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC @ #4 Los Angeles Galaxy November 1, 9:30 PM on NBCSN and TSN

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