Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire will meet for the first time this season when the two sides square off at BMO Field on Wednesday.
It has not been a memorable campaign for either side as both clubs enter the contest outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but Chicago comes into the affair within striking distance of a postseason slot - a win for the Fire would push them into fifth place with 38 points.
Chicago is coming off of a disappointing 2-1 road loss to Seattle Sounders FC at the weekend. The two sides looked destined to split the points until an own goal from Gonzalo Segares in the 89th minute gifted the victory to the Sounders.
"I felt the team played well - played really well - and definitely deserved to walk away with points from here but that's not how it goes sometimes, so we have to regroup," Fire head coach Frank Klopas said after the match. "I think (we can) learn from some little things that we could do better and just regroup fast because we have to move on to the next game in Toronto. There are a lot of games coming up and we just have to move on."
On a positive note, the Fire will have the opportunity to bounce back against one of the league's weaker sides - Toronto has claimed just four wins all season.
The Reds were thrashed by the Portland Timbers in a 4-0 loss at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday, but the scoreline did not tell the whole story. Toronto was trailing by one heading into the final 10 minutes, but Rodney Wallace, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri each produced a goal to inflate Portland's margin of victory.
Toronto has not been blown out of many games this season, so the four-goal defeat at the weekend could be attributed to a thin squad caused by players away on international duty.
"We're down to our bare bones, but it's no excuse because the guys, I thought, I thought they did really well," said defender Steven Caldwell after the loss. "Up until that second goal, everything was going to plan. It's just, really our own mistakes that were causing the kind of problems that we were giving away in our half."
Toronto is winless in its last five outings, leaving the club second from bottom in the East on 22 points.