Major League Soccer Roundup, Oct. 3
The Columbus Crew clinched a playoff spot but lost top spot in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, after being held to a 0-0 draw by the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
The draw, combined with New York's win over Kansas City meant both the Red Bulls and Columbus had stitched up playoff spots with three games to spare, ensured of being the top two teams in the East.
Columbus came closest when Chad Marshall's 75th minute header off a corner was stopped by a leaping save from San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.
MLS: June 23-25
|Thursday, June 23|
|Saturday, June 25|
|San Jose||0-0||LA Galaxy||Recap|
|Real Salt Lake||3-1||Toronto||Recap|
|Sunday, June 26|
|MLS Scores | Table | Fixtures|
William Hesmer preserved a point for the hosts with a big save of a Chris Wondolowski shot in the 70th minute.
In Harrison, New Jersey, Dane Richards scored early as New York beat Kansas City and took over atop the East.
The Red Bulls' qualification for the playoffs was an impressive turnaround on last season when they won just five of 30 games.
Kansas City remained third in the East, but is now seven points behind San Jose, which holds the last playoff berth.
Richards scored in the sixth minute, recovering after taking a chip inside the 18-yard box and temporarily losing possession. He got the ball back, stepped past a defender and fired a clean shot past the keeper.
In Frisco, Texas, Jeff Cunningham equaled the MLS goal-scoring record as Dallas clinched a playoff spot with a win over Chicago.
Cunningham, who won the MLS Golden Boot Award last year for leading the league with 17 goals, scored his 11th of this season and 132nd of his career, tying D.C. United veteran Jaime Moreno.
The win also saw Dallas equal the longest single-season unbeaten streak in league history at 18 games, tying the Columbus 2004 team.
Chicago has won only one of its past nine and is at very long odds to make the playoffs.
Milton Rodriguez opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Marvin Chavez doubled the lead at the start of the second half before Cunningham scored his milestone goal from the penalty spot in the 67th.
In Foxborough, Massachussets, Alvaro Saborio scored in the 84th minute to lift Real Salt Lake over New England and temporarily to the top of the Western Conference.
The defending champions leapfrogged Los Angeles to the top of the West, though the Galaxy has a chance to go back ahead when it plays crosstown rival Chivas on Sunday.
Saborio redirected Javier Morales' free kick into the goal, giving Real Salt Lake the lead for good. Morales also set up Nat Borchers' opener in the 68th minute.
Sainey Nyassi equalized for the hosts in the 82nd minute.
In Seattle, the hosts boosted their hopes of a playoff spot with a see-sawing win over Toronto.
Dwayne DeRosario opened the scoring for Toronto in the 16th minute, only for Seattle to get back in front by half time thanks to goals from Steve Zakuani and Blaise Nkufo. Swiss international Nkufo has scored five goals in three games.
Sanna Nyassi scored his first MLS goal in the 59th minute to put Seattle up 3-1, delighting a sellout crowd of 36,079.
Chad Barrett pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 88th but Toronto has now won just one of its past nine games and the Canadians' playoff hopes now rely on winning all three remaining games while relying on San Jose to lose all four.
In Commerce City, Colorado, the hosts' playoff hopes took an unlikely hit with a home defeat by lowly D.C..
Australian Danny Allsopp scored the sole goal in first-half stoppage time, chipping in a rebound from a save and making up for missing a good chance moments earlier.
It was a rare moment of joy for United this season, having scored only 19 goals in 27 games, but the visitors were rewarded for controlling most of the play in the first half, outshooting Colorado 9-3.
The Rapids had their previous five at home, and could have all but wrapped up a playoff spot with victory.
In Chester, Pennsylvania, Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 40th minute, salvaging a home draw for Philadelphia against Houston.
Andrew Hainault had put Houston in front in the 12th minute.
Le Toux tied it with his 13th goal of the season. The French midfielder got a cross from Roger Torres, controlled the ball and sent a well-struck shot past goalkeeper Pat Onstad.