|Patrick Nyarko -- Getty Images|
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire's postseason hopes were erased Thursday night with the New York Red Bulls clinching the final playoff spot. But that does not mean there is little value to the Fire's home finale when they host the Columbus Crew.
Chicago (8-9-16, 40 points) has come a long way during the second half of the season to even be a part of the postseason dialogue over the past several weeks. So the Fire would like to maintain that trend with one final positive result heading into 2012.
"The most important thing, and our focus, has to be on making sure we finish the season strong," Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas said. "We're playing at home against a very good team -- a big rival of ours. It's just important to continue to be building and getting better every game."
"I feel like we're playing for something," Fire forward Patrick Nyarko said. "We're playing for three points, playing for a win, playing for our fans who have been with us all year through torrid times."
Read more at ESPNChicago.com.