This has been a bounce-back week for the Union, who played to a draw on Saturday that felt like a loss.
Last Saturday's 1-1 tie with the visiting Kansas City Wizards was a game the Union were dominating, until keeper Chris Seitz allowed a bad goal on a 30-yard free kick from a tough angle by Davy Arnaud to tie the score in the 71st minute.
After the game, Union team manager Peter Nowak publically criticized Seitz for the first time this season.
Nowak said the team has enjoyed strong practices this week, bouncing back from the disappointment.
"The spirit has been very good," Nowak said. "The important thing is that we still have a shot" at the playoffs, where eight of the 16 teams qualify.
The Union (5-11-6, 21 points) play host to the Chicago Fire (6-7-8, 26 points) Saturday at 6 p.m. at PPL Park. With eight games remaining, the Union were 11 points behind the eighth and final spot.
Seitz has started all but one game this season, but Nowak wouldn't say whether Brad Knighton would earn the start against Chicago.
He said it would likely be a game-time decision.
Nowak is in a difficult situation. He has invested a lot of time in Seitz, and must deal with not shaking the keeper's confidence while also making the best decision for the team.
On the opposite end is Chicago forward Brian McBride, the 38-year-old forward who recently announced that this would be his final MLS season. McBride, who has played in three World Cups for the U.S., has four goals and two assists this season.
"Brian was my captain in the Olympic games and I spent a lot of time with him in China and know him from the beginning of his [MLS] career with Columbus," Nowak said. "He has always been a gentleman and has given everything to the game and it's very difficult to lose a guy like that with such a great work ethic and great sportsmanship."