Fire climb to second in East, officially eliminate Toronto FC from playoff hunt

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Toronto FC's quest to reach the MLS postseason for the first time in franchise history will have to wait until at least 2013.

The Reds, in a playoff drought since the club's inception in 2007, became the first MLS team to officially be eliminated from playoff contention in 2012 after the Chicago Fire went into BMO Field and walked away with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night. Alvaro Fernandez and Chris Rolfe scored the goals for Chicago, which climbed to second place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Sporting Kansas City and a point ahead of the Houston Dynamo with all three having played 27 matches. Sporting KC and Houston meet Friday night.

Fernandez opened the scoring with a header in the 13th minute off a cross from Pavel Pardo, who hit the post on the goal-scoring sequence prior to tracking down the rebound. The goal was Fernandez' first in six matches with the Fire after being traded from Seattle. Rolfe scored the eventual game-winner three minutes before halftime for his fifth goal in his last seven games, bouncing a follow-up shot after a corner kick through traffic from the edge of the box.

TFC pulled one back in the 79th minute, with Eric Hassli taking a feed off the outside of rookie Luis Silva's foot and finishing from inside the area. The goal was nothing but consolation for last-place Toronto, which has a league-worst 21 points through 28 matches.

Match highlights are after the jump:

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What did you think of the Fire's win? Do you consider Chicago as a serious MLS Cup contender? Disappointed that TFC will miss out on the postseason for yet another year?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Fire climb to second in East, officially eliminate Toronto FC from playoff hunt

  1. T says:

    I would pull a Clint Dempsey if I were a professional soccer player drafted by Toronto “Football Club”. Toronto FC is a merely a ghost club.

  2. Oranje Mike says:

    Just like their hockey team.

  3. Minister says:

    Snake-bitten with injuries, this team never seems to put it together.

    When they had an offense, they had a terrible defense. Now they have a decent defense, but no offense.

  4. Scott says:

    Thought Rolfe looked great again tonight in the 15-20 minutes of the match that I saw. Curious if he’ll get another look with the USMNT. We are still short on creative players.

  5. Mike r says:

    Goodbye Toronto!!!!

  6. Eugene says:

    You must mean a point ahead of NY, not Houston, right?

  7. Cris says:

    Chicago would be an elite team if they would have kept Grazzini and Robayo in the midfield. Now they are back to playing 2 d-mids with Logan Pause.

  8. Obi-wan McSnarky says:

    Wait until AT LEAST …. Poor TFC.

  9. This Guy says:

    They have been an elite team since those 2 left. They are 5-1-1 without them. You could probably be a player scout for Toronto though.

  10. Rich says:

    Robayo never did much for us, but I agree that we really miss Grazzini. We’ll never get the real story on what happened to him.

  11. Ryan says:

    Really? Robayo? Dude, you have no idea what you are talking about. All that guy did was complain when he was with the Fire. And gave nothing positive to the team.

    And those 2 d-mids are pretty darn good. One of the best duos in the league. Yeah, I will take that…

  12. Matt says:

    Agreed. Grazzini, yes. Robayo, no.

  13. divers suck says:

    It’s so sad that a fan base (or the shadow of) such as Toronto has had to put up with such ineptness of such a disintesested “I don’t care” FO…I don’t know what to say TFC fans, you have the Leafs, Raptors and Jays?

  14. jdw says:

    hahah zing! Robayo was trash and openly dissed the team and league but Grazzini would be a solid player to still have

  15. jdw says:

    Pardo and Pause are the best CM pairing in the league.

  16. the special one says:

    We are proud to be the worst sports city in North America!…maybe the world!

  17. al17 says:

    Snake Bitten with STUPID MGMT is more like it. Without the Injuries they still sucked.
    Luv that my Fire did some good by sending ToTo back home.
    SWEET

  18. Cholmondeley Warner says:

    Sad to see the decline in support from those heady days of 2007-09. The atmosphere at the Canada WCQ v Panama was a reminder of what a great crowd Toronto used to be. If MLS has any sense they will quietly start testing the water for potential buyers because the relationship between MLSE and the majority of fans is so poisoned its almost irrepairable

  19. Ryan says:

    I will drink to that. Pause showed just how valuable he was when injured. Made me appreciate what he does even more. Dude does his business quietly but he is a master at it.

  20. terrence says:

    Sven Goran Eriksson to Toronto FC