Red Bulls romp over Union; Sounders stumble in Houston.
By Kyle McCarthy
New York Red Bulls 4 -- Philadelphia Union 1
Mike Grella scored the fastest goal in MLS history to spark the Red Bulls to a thorough victory over the Union at Red Bull Arena. Grella struck inside the opening seven seconds to stake the Red Bulls to a lead they would not relinquish. Bradley Wright-Phillips doubled the advantage after four minutes. Grella added his second and Kemar Lawrence pounced just before halftime to give the Red Bulls a commanding lead. Sebastien Le Toux issued a response 10 minutes after halftime, but the Union failed to build on that modest marker. The victory guaranteed the Red Bulls’ status as the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Four different United players struck to guarantee a straightforward victory at RFK Stadium. United entered the game with the knowledge that a win would guarantee a home playoff game and responded accordingly. Chris Pontius pounced six minutes before halftime to give United the lead at the break. Bobby Boswell and Fabian Espindola extended the advantage within five second-half minutes before Alvaro Saborio rounded off the scoring inside the final 10 minutes. United is in line to finish second in the East with a victory at Columbus next Sunday.
Houston Dynamo 1 -- Seattle Sounders 1
Obafemi Martins ended the Dynamo’s faint playoff hopes with a late equalizer at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both teams slogged through a drab first half before the home side finally took the lead after halftime. Ricardo Clark collected a clever Brad Davis pass and slotted inside the far post to open the scoring after 65 minutes. Seattle perked up after conceding and eventually procured the equalizer when Martins nodded home an Andreas Ivanschitz corner kick from close range. The draw left Seattle in fifth place heading into the final weekend of the season.
Fanendo Adi spurred the Timbers to their first victory at StubHub Center with a stirring second-half performance. Robbie Keane produced a sublime opener to stake the Galaxy to a halftime lead, but the Galaxy faded badly after the interval as the Timbers asserted control in midfield. Adi equalized by rounding off a fine Timbers move and then snatched his second from the penalty spot after Dan Gargan hauled him down. Diego Chara nodded home the third in the final quarter of an hour. Keane nodded home a second, but Darlington Nagbe produced an immediate response for the Galaxy. Maxi Urruti rounded off the scoring in the 90th minute to strengthen the Timbers’ quest for a playoff berth.