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Fire try 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.

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Fire have already accomplished goal No. 1 for the 2012 season: reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009. With a postseason spot locked up, Chicago is trying to stay hot and jockey for playoff position with two regular-season games remaining.

Sitting on 56 points for the season, Chicago is just three points behind Eastern Conference leader Sporting Kansas City. Wins in their final two matches could put the Fire in position to claim the No. 1 seed in the East. However, Chicago is only three points ahead of the fourth-place New York Red Bulls. Should Chicago drop to a fourth-place finish, the Fire would face a one-game play-in against the East's No. 5 team.

If Chicago can avoid dropping to fourth- or fifth-place in the East, the Fire will compete in one of the Eastern Conference's two home-and-home semifinal series. Chicago needs four points -- a win and a tie -- from its final two games to ensure a spot in the semifinals.