CHICAGO (9-4-8) vs. LOS ANGELES (7-4-10), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2/Deportes
The under-fueled Fire still had enough spark to post a 2-0 triumph in Kansas City Sunday and though it plays on two days' rest, two injury absentees from that game - defender Wilman Conde (hamstring strain) and midfielder John Thorrington (groin strain) - have been upgraded to probable. Forward Brian McBride and defender Gonzalo Segares are still sidelined. A tepid home record (3-2-4, with a goal difference of zero and only eight goals scored) tempers enthusiasm, however.
For the Galaxy, the injury list is a short one -- forwards Edson Buddle (foot sprain) and Alecko Eskandarian (broken nose) are questionable - but flankers Eddie Lewis and David Beckham are suspended, which may limit the room and freedom Landon Donovan would like to exploit. The Galaxy has ground out results on the road all season (4-1-6) and this may be the ultimate test: it has lost all three league meetings in Toyota Park since it opened, and also lost 3-1 in the 2006 Open Cup final. Still, it is a remarkable 5-0-4 against Eastern teams this season.
Prediction: Fire 2, Galaxy 1.
RIDGE MAHONEY'S 2009 PREDICTION RECORD
Last week: 3-3. Season: 79-76.