MLS Standings 2012: Chicago Fire 3rd in Eastern Conference

The final weekend of the regular season will determine Chicago's finish in the East.

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Fire finish 4th in East, will face knockout round

The Chicago Fire were dropped to fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings on the final day of the season when the New York Red Bulls notched a 3-0 over the Philadelphia Union Sunday night. The Fire will now play in a one-game playoff against the Houston Dynamo for the right to take on East winner Sporting Kansas City in a two-leg aggregate series.

The Fire and Dynamo will face off on Halloween Night at 8 p.m. CT. The match will be televised on ESPN2. The winner will host Sporting KC on Nov. 4th in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Red Bulls will now take on DC United in the conference semifinals. That series will begin on November 3rd in New York.

On the Western conference side of the bracket, the San Jose Earthquakes took the Supporters' Shield and the top seed. They will face the winner of Los Angeles and Vancouver. The Galaxy will host the West's knockout round match on Nov. 1.

Real Salt Lake and Seattle will face off as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds.

For the complete final standings, check out MLS's official site.

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Chicago Fire playing for seeding this weekend

With one regular season game remaining, the Chicago Fire have secured a spot in the 2012 MLS playoffs, but their final position remains uncertain. Depending on the results next weekend, Chicago could finish anywhere from second to fifth.

The MLS Eastern Conference standings:

1. Sporting Kansas City (60 points)
2. D.C. United (57)
3. Chicago Fire (56)
4. New York Red Bulls (54)
5. Houston Dynamo (53)

(All other Eastern Conference teams have been mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration.)

The Fire face the United on Oct. 27, and a win there would secure the No. 2 seed, while a draw would guarantee a finish no lower than fourth. A loss, though, would open the door for a fifth-place finish -- a Fire defeat coupled by wins by the Red Bulls and Dynamo would relegate Chicago to the bottom seed.

Saturday's game against United begins at 3 p.m. CT, and the NBC Sports Network will be televising the match.

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Fire hope to stay hot before MLS playoffs

The Chicago Fire have clenched an MLS playoff berth, but with two regular-season games left, Chicago is still fighting for postseason position.

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Chicago Fire 2nd in Eastern Conference

The Chicago Fire have not played a match since their Oct. 6 victory over New York, but they have clinched a playoff berth in the meantime. The Fire are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 54 points, two points behind first-place Sporting Kansas City, which is also a lock for the postseason.

Related: Chicago Fire Make the Playoffs: Now What?

Five teams from each conference make the playoffs, and Chicago could still finish anywhere from first to fourth in the East. Like the majority of teams in the league, Chicago has two more regular season games to play. The Fire finish up with New England and D.C. United, and the latter matchup could have seeding implications, as United is currently two points behind the Fire. The Red Bulls also could catch Chicago, as they are three points back.

The complete Eastern Conference standings:

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD
1 x - Sporting Kansas City 59 32 1.84 17 7 8 40 26 14
2 x - Chicago Fire 56 32 1.75 17 10 5 45 39 6
3 D.C. United 54 32 1.69 16 10 6 49 40 9
4 New York Red Bulls 53 32 1.66 15 9 8 54 46 8
5 Houston Dynamo 50 32 1.56 13 8 11 45 38 7
6 Columbus Crew 49 32 1.53 14 11 7 40 40 0
7 Montreal Impact 41 32 1.28 12 15 5 45 50 -5
8 Philadelphia Union 36 31 1.16 10 15 6 35 37 -2
9 New England Revolution 29 32 0.91 7 17 8 37 44 -7
10 Toronto FC 22 32 0.69 5 20 7 35 60 -25

In the Western Conference, four teams have already secured playoff spots, leaving one slot still in doubt.

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MLS Standings 2012: Fire Solidify Playoff Position

The Chicago Fire have yet to lose a game in September, and this recent string of success has the team in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Fire defeated Montreal, 3-1, on Sept. 15 and are riding a two-game winning streak.

Related: Well, That was Fun! The Fire Beat Impact 3-1

With just six games left on its regular season schedule, Chicago is in a strong position to make the playoffs. The top five teams from each conference earn a trip to the postseason, and the Fire are currently eight points ahead of the sixth-place Columbus Crew. And they're only a single point behind first-place Sporting KC.

The complete Eastern Conference standings:

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD
1 Sporting Kansas City 51 28 1.82 15 7 6 35 25 10
2 Chicago Fire 50 28 1.79 15 8 5 40 33 7
3 New York Red Bulls 49 28 1.75 14 7 7 49 40 9
4 Houston Dynamo 46 29 1.59 12 7 10 41 34 7
5 D.C. United 44 28 1.57 13 10 5 45 39 6
6 Columbus Crew 42 28 1.5 12 10 6 34 35 -1
7 Montreal Impact 39 30 1.3 12 15 3 44 49 -5
8 New England Revolution 28 29 0.97 7 15 7 36 40 -4
9 Philadelphia Union 27 26 1.04 7 13 6 26 31 -5
10 Toronto FC 22 29 0.76 5 17 7 32 51 -19

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Chicago Fire blog Hot Time In Old Town. And for more pro soccer coverage, check out SB Nation's soccer hub.

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