for this game

Toronto FC 2, Fire 2

Sep 27, 2009 - 4:57 AM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

Thanks to defensive errors, the Chicago Fire have been in a giving mood at home, and those miscues may have cost them a chance at the Supporters' Shield.

Brian McBride helped the Fire overcome another pair of defensive errors to salvage a 2-all draw with Toronto FC on Saturday night.

McBride netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season with 12 minutes to play, heading a shot past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The forward, a former star with the U.S. national team, got away from Toronto defender Nick Garcia as midfielder Justin Mapp found him alone in the box.

Despite rallying for the point, the Fire (10-6-11) are 4-4-6 at home and are 1-2-2 in their last five there. That has left Chicago five points back of Eastern Conference-leading and reigning MLS Cup champion Columbus, which appears to have its sights set on a second consecutive Supporters' Shield for the best regular-season record.

"It takes everybody being on the same ... page and being disciplined, and right now we're not," said goalkeeper Jon Busch, who had no saves as Toronto (9-10-8) converted both of its shots on goal. "Enough is enough already.

"We're gift-wrapping goals. It's like ... Christmas time. If they beat us with a good goal, fair enough, but quit giving away easy goals and putting ourselves behind the eight-ball. That's the bottom line, again."

The Fire's first error of the game gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. Defender C.J. Brown failed to trap a ball at midfield, only to see TFC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario gather the turnover, dribble in alone on Busch and score his team-high 11th goal.

Chicago, which had four shots on goal, leveled the score eight minutes later on a defensive lapse by Toronto, as Garcia tried to get away from pressure from Patrick Nyarko by attempting to chest the ball to Frei, but instead saw his pass bounce into the net for an own goal.

The defensive problems for the Fire were evident again in the opening minute of the second half, when De Rosario one-timed a cross to Chad Barrett, who split Brown and defender Wilman Conde before flicking a shot past Busch for the 2-1 lead.

It was Barrett's fifth goal, which came in his first game back at Toyota Park since he was traded to Toronto for the rights to McBride in July 2008.

"Tonight defensively, we were no good," Fire coach Denis Hamlett said. "We gave them two goals tonight. Two easy goals. We talk about wanting to win championships, the defense gotta get better. Individually, collectively, as a whole."

The Fire, though, had an outstanding chance to get a win on the match's final play. Nyarko dribbled around a defender and sent a low cross to the back post, but forward Calen Carr's point-blank shot went wide left.

Toronto, which had its road winless streak extended to seven matches (0-4-3), has 35 points and is two behind New England for the final wild-card berth.

"We let ourselves down," said De Rosario, who leads TFC with seven assists. "Could've came up with three points, but to be fair, at the end, we could've came with zero points. We got a point, and we're still not out of it yet, but we put ourselves in another tough position to look at; three wins in three games."

The Fire played without forward Chris Rolfe after he was a late scratch after re-aggravating a left hamstring injury during warmups. He was replaced in the lineup by Nyarko.