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Sporting KC Vs. Chicago Fire: Match Preview

Sporting KC welcomes the Chicago Fire for a battle for No. 1 in the Eastern Conference on Friday.

Jun 29, 2012; Kansas City, KS, USA; Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry (22) defends against Sporting KC  forward Teal Bunbury (9) in the second half at Livestrong Sporting Park. Chicago won the game 1-0. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Jun 29, 2012; Kansas City, KS, USA; Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry (22) defends against Sporting KC forward Teal Bunbury (9) in the second half at Livestrong Sporting Park. Chicago won the game 1-0. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Sporting Kansas City welcomes the Chicago Fire to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park for a crucial match on Friday night. Sporting KC currently holds the top record in the Eastern Conference, with the Fire just two points back in the standings headed into the week.

Sporting has not lost a game since July 28, a 2-1 defeat to Columbus, and is coming off a 0-0 draw against Montreal on Saturday. The team is 8-3-4 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park so far this season and will clinch a MLS Cup playoff berth with a win over the Fire on Friday.

Chicago, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew and moved to within striking distance of Sporting KC with just four games remaining in the regular season.

This is the third and final match between the two teams this season, with Chicago 2-0-0 in the series so far. The Fire rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Sporting KC on May 12, then earned a shutout victory in Kansas City on June 29.

The match is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT, with coverage on NBC Sports Network.

For more on Sporting KC and this crucial match, be sure to check out The Daily Wiz.