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:
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.