The Chicago Fire haven't been to the playoffs since 2009 and have very young and inexperienced players without a single playoff game under their belts making up half of their back line and standing in goal. It is hardly an encouraging thought for the Fire, who welcome the Houston Dynamo, last year's MLS Cup finalists, to Toyota Park for Wednesday night's MLS Cup Playoffs opener.
For the Fire and Dynamo, it is win or go home, with one team moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and the other beginning preparations for 2012. In these situations, the cliche is to go with the experienced team, but it also says go with the home team and that is doubly true when the visiting team has been dreadful on the road. Come on down, Houston.
The Dynamo haven't won on the road since July 28, a long stretch that includes a loss to the Fire. So does the experience or home field win out? Maybe the better coach wins out. Hey there, Dominic Kinnear.
Match date/time: Wednesday, October 31; 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois