D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire 2012: Match preview, TV schedule and more

Otto Greule Jr

United heads west to finish the regular season in Chicago, needing only a draw to secure the #2 seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Playoff seeding is on the line as D.C. United travel west for their regular-season finale, a Saturday-afternoon tilt with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. United have already secured a home playoff match for the first time since 2007, but a win or draw against the Fire would clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs, while a loss could possibly drop United all the way to fourth, forcing them to play a first-round match. A loss by Chicago could potentially drop them from third to fifth, which would mean a first-round road game, so both teams have a lot to play for.

United is currently on a six-match unbeaten streak, and have only allowed six goals during that stretch. Knowing that a draw will be enough to secure the No. 2 seed, United may be inclined to use a defensive game plan, perhaps dropping a fifth midfielder as has been seen in several matches recently. The Fire figure to play much more aggressively. Having lost three of four and being shutout twice during that span, the Fire will have to take some chances.

The two teams last met on Aug. 22 in Washington, a 4-2 United victory. The match will begin at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.

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