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The first item on the Chicago Fire's wish list came true when the Portland Timbers played D.C. United to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday at RFK Stadium.
A Portland victory would have eliminated the Fire from postseason contention, and the Timbers (11-14-8, 41 points) had a 1-0 lead against United thanks to Kenny Cooper's 24th-minute goal. But league scoring leader Dwayne De Rosario of D.C. evened things up in the 73rd minute. Despite a frantic finish, neither side scored another goal down the stretch.
The Fire (8-9-16, 40 points) now have to hope for a loss by the New York Red Bulls (9-8-16, 43 points) when they host the Philadelphia Union on Thursday at Red Bull Arena (7 p.m., ESPN2). If New York posts a win or a draw, Chicago officially will be eliminated from the playoff picture.
The Fire also need New York to lose by a considerable margin. The Red Bulls have the goal differential tiebreaker advantage over the Fire, sitting at plus-five. Chicago is even.