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MLS Standings 2012: Fire Clinging Onto MLS Cup Playoff Position

The MLS Eastern Conference has a clear hierarchy in 2012, and it's not one that includes the Chicago Fire. The conference's top three teams— DC United, New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City— are comfortable at the top of the standings, battling each other for position with little wreck of falling below third. The next tier, which includes the Fire, features four teams fighting for two playoff spots, and at the moment the Fire are hanging onto the postseason for dear life.

In fifth place, the Fire would be set up to face the fourth place Columbus Crew in a one-game showdown, with the winner advancing to play No. 1 seed. If the Fire were to fall to sixth, they would be out of the postseason.

Here's the East standings heading into this week:

  1. DC United, 27 points
  2. New York Red Bulls, 26 points
  3. Sporting KC, 25 points
  4. Columbus Crew, 18 points
  5. Chicago Fire, 18 points
  6. New England Revolution, 16 points
  7. Houston Dynamo, 16 points
  8. Montreal Impact, 12 points
  9. Philadelphia Union, 8 points
  10. Toronto FC, 3 points

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Fire visit Hot Time in Old Town and for more on the Revolution, be sure to check out The Bent Musket. For more news and notes around MLS, check out SB Nation's soccer news hub.