MLS 2012, Midweek 23 Preview And Matches: So About The Fire And Crew...

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - AUGUST 18: Chicago Fire fans cheer before their team takes on the New England Revolution in their MLS match at Toyota Park on August 18, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Fire defeated the Revolution 2-1. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

The Crew are creeping up on a playoff spot, while the Fire are making a move on first place in the East.

Once again, MLS is playing matches on the same day as the CONCACAF Champions League. Remember that in a couple months when the league won't shut up about how important the Champions League is to MLS.

Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Crew are a very sneaky team. They stay under the radar and nobody ever thinks about them. They aren't good enough to stick in a playoff spot either. Yet here they stand, seven points out of fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a match in hand, just lurking and ready to snag a spot in the postseason, especially now that they have Federico Higuain, who looked bright in his MLS debut over the weekend. Sneaky, sneaky Crew.

Pick: Columbus, 2-0.

D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Speaking of sneaky teams, the Fire are only five points out of first place in the East with a match in hand. If anyone in the East is going to be considered "elite", the Fire need to be in that discussion. That sounds weird, but it is true.

Meanwhile, D.C. is the team that the Crew only trail by seven points for the last playoff spot. It's been an ugly couple of months in the capital and a loss coupled with a Crew win on Wednesday could set off the panic alarms, assuming RFK Stadium's panic alarms still work.

Pick: Chicago, 2-1.

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