Two side’s who will be disappointed not to be making plans for the playoffs meet on Friday night as the Chicago Fire welcome Houston Dynamo for both side’s final game of the 2014 MLS season.
Both clubs are already looking ahead to next year but Chicago will be keen to get their first win in six against the Dynamo when they meet at Toyota Park.
The Fire have not beaten their Eastern Conference rivals since the 2012 season, and will be looking to end the season on a high, after failing to win in their past eight MLS matches.
Houston won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the end of September, but come into the game in relatively poor form too, having lost three of their last four and they will hope to end Dominic Kinnear’s reign with one more celebration.Embed from Getty Images
Although it would appear to be a game with little to play for, several players will be hoping to impress so that they are not released in the post-season, and so it could be an open game.
Chicago Fire’s home form: Played 16 – Won 3 – Drawn 11 – Lost 2
The Fire have only lost twice at home this season, and are unbeaten in nine at Toyota Park Stadium, so they will look to make it ten as they close out the campaign.
They have drawn an astonishing 18 games this season, and that has ultimately cost them valuable points along the way as their football has not been as bad as their league position dictates.
They can’t finish higher or lower than ninth in the Eastern Conference, but will want to add another loss to Houston’s miserable away record.
Houston Dynamo’s away form: Played 16 – Won 3 – Drawn 2 – Lost 11
With neither side likely to take the game by the scruff of the neck, an entertaining draw could be played out to end disappointing campaign’s for two sides who will already have one eye on the start of the new season.
Key Player: Harry Shipp – The Chicago playmaker’s rookie season started so brightly, but his form dipped along with his team. He will want to end on a high as he looks ahead to next season.
Key Stat: All signs point to a draw: Chicago have not beaten Houston in five games, but have drawn their last three home games, as well as two of the last three between the sides.
Chicago’s last five: L/D/D/L/L
Houston’s last five: W/L/W/L/L
Prediction: Chicago Fire 1-1 Houston Dynamo