Mike Magee scored on a penalty kick in the 64th minute and Chicago held on for its third straight win, a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night in Bridgeview, Ill.
The Fire moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago (14-12-7) and Montreal each have 49 points with one match remaining. New England and Houston, tied for fifth, each have 48 points, New England with one match left, Houston with two. The top five teams in each conference make the playoffs.
Magee’s PK was awarded when a Chicago free kick hit Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio in the hand as he stood in the blocking wall.
The score was Magee’s 20th of the season, tying him for the MLS lead with Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio.
Toronto (5-17-11) has lost two straight and four of its last five.
Chicago had the better of the play, but Toronto threatened in the final minute of stoppage time when substitute forward Andrew Wiedeman headed a corner kick a yard wide of the net.
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson needed to make only two saves in picking up his sixth shutout of the season. Frei was in the Toronto goal for the first time this year, subbing for suspended starter Joseph Bendik.
The Fire will miss key midfielder Jeff Larentowicz for their Oct. 27 finale at New York. Larentowicz’s yellow card in the 57th minute put him over the penalty point limit and triggered a one-game suspension.
Impact 2, Union 1 — Defender Karl Ouimette headed in his first career goal, Di Vaio scored his 20th of the season, and host Montreal took a big step toward making the playoffs.
The Impact (14-12-7), who ended a six-game winless run, are tied for third going into their final regular-season game in Toronto.
Fabinho scored in the first half for Philadelphia (12-11-10, 46 points).
‘‘This was a playoff game without the playoffs,’’ Philadelphia coach John Hackworth said. ‘‘Both of us had to win. We did a good job in the first half, but we couldn’t finish it off.’’
The 21-year-old Ouimette headed in the winner in the 84th minute.
FC Dallas 2, Sounders 0 — Michel had a goal and an assist to help FC Dallas beat Seattle in Frisco, Texas.
Seattle’s loss prevented the Sounders from clinching a playoff spot.
Michel, who replaced Kenny Cooper in the 58th minute, scored in the 87th minute after he tapped a shot into the right corner of the net from the top of the goalie’s box. Michel rebounded a missed shot by David Ferreira before scoring his third goal of the season.
Michel set up Dallas’s first goal in the 65th minute when he arched a free kick to Matt Hedges. Hedges redirected the pass with a header from about 10 yards away that bounced off the ground and into the top left corner of the net.
Dallas improved to 11-11-1 .
Rapids 3, Whitecaps 2 — Gabriel Torres scored his second goal of the game in the 77th minute to lift host Colorado over Vancouver and move the Rapids into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.
Torres’s left-footed shot came two minutes after Camilo Sanvezzo had tied the game with a penalty kick.
Deshorn Brown added a goal for Colorado (14-10-9). Its 51 points, a franchise best, tied it with Seattle and Los Angeles in the West.
Kekuta Manneh also scored for Vancouver (12-12-9), which had its two-game road winning streak snapped and was eliminated from playoff contention.