Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of club at the bottom of the Eastern Conference will clash on Saturday as the Chicago Fire welcome the Montreal Impact to Toyota Park.
It's been a difficult season for Chicago as the club hasn't risen above eighth place in the East since April and has set a new MLS record for draws in a single season with 17 following Thursday's last-gasp 1-1 stalemate with the Philadelphia Union.
The match against Philadelphia offered little in the way of scoring chances for most of the 90 minutes, but the Fire went behind two minutes from time when a right-wing cross from Danny Cruz was knocked down inside the box by Brian Brown, allowing Amobi Okugo to fire the ball past goalkeeper Sean Johnson from 12 yards.
However, Chicago made the most of a gift from Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, whose poor clearance in stoppage time was hit straight to substitute forward Robert Earnshaw, allowing the striker to get in on goal and send a delicate chip over the netminder and into the back of the net.
"I think that the game itself wasn't a particularly great game. Both sides felt a little bit cagey until the second half. We weren't very good in the final third for us. But I thought Philadelphia had some good chances. We're happy to get the tie," Chicago head coach Frank Yallop said following the match.
"But we found a way to come back into the game and get something out of it. We could play better and do all these things, but we're finding ways to at least get a point. But we can't find a way to win a game. And that's a little bit disappointing."
Montreal. meanwhile, is coming off a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium.
The Impact were behind the eight-ball almost immediately as Columbus found the back of the net after just two minutes through a goal from Ethan Finlay, who latched on to Wil Trapp's through ball and clipped a shot into the upper corner from the right side of the box.
Finlay had a hand in the Crew's second goal of the match as he was fouled in the box by Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, allowing Federico Higuain to convert on the 58th-minute penalty.
"They scored when they had chances and we did not tonight," said Impact midfielder Dilly Duka. "We create chances and got a PK but we were not lucky. We have the players to do well on the road as well. They played well and got the three points. We allowed the first goal very early from a tough angle, but we kept pushing."