LAFC’s Carlos Vela breaks MLS goal record with hat trick
Vela broke the mark of 31 set last year by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez.
Los Angeles (21-4-9) set an MLS record for season points with 72, breaking the mark of 71 set last year by the New York Red Bulls. Los Angeles earned the top seed in the Western Conference and a first-round bye to the playoffs.
Colorado (12-16-6) entered the match within three points of the playoff line after a 3-0 victory over Dallas last week. The Rapids ended the season by winning five of their last seven games.
Vela scored in the 28th and 31st minutes, Kei Kamara countered for Colorado in the 40th and Vela connected again in the 51st.
TIMBERS 3, EARTHQUAKES 1
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dairon Asprilla celebrated with a flip after his goal pulled Portland in front and the Timbers went on beat San Jose for a spot in the playoffs.
Both teams went into the final match of the regular season vying for a postseason berth. The Timbers (14-13-7) finished sixth in the Western Conference and will face Real Salt Lake in the opening round.
The Earthquakes (13-16-5) were eliminated with the loss, but Chris Wondolowski’s first-half goal extended his MLS career scoring record. San Jose ended the season with a six-game losing streak.
FC Dallas (13-12-9) will open the playoffs at Seattle. Sporting Kansas City finished 10-16-8.
SOUNDERS 1, MINNESOTA UNITED 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Roman Torres scored in the 29th minute and Seattle beat Minnesota to finish second in the Western Conference.
The Sounders (16-10-8) will host a first-round playoff game against FC Dallas. Minnesota (15-11-8), which started the day tied for second with Seattle, slipped to fourth and will host the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first round of the new single-elimination playoffs.
The scoring play started when Nico Lodeiro floated a corner kick from the left-wing side across the field. Joevin Jones picked it up in the right side of the penalty area, crossed a target ball toward the far post, and Torres — in his second game back from a 10-game suspension — ran onto it at the top of the 6-yard box. His header ricocheted off the turf and into the left side of the net past goalkeeper Vito Nannone.
Torres was suspended for 10 games at the start of August for violating the MLS substance abuse policy. The defender returned to action as a late-game substitute last Sunday in a 1-0 victory at San Jose and got the starting call Sunday.
ATLANTA UNITED 3, REVOLUTION 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Josef Martinez and Julian Gressel scored second-half goals and Atlanta United beat New England in a playoff preview.
Defending champion Atlanta (18-12-4) finished second in the Eastern Conference to set a first-round game against New England. The Revolution (11-11-12) finished seventh, clinching their first playoff berth in four years with a victory over New York City FC a week ago.
Darlington Nagbe tapped in a center from Gressel three minutes in before Christian Penilla knotted the score five minutes later. After intermission, Martinez recorded his 27th goal of the year off an assist from Gressel in the 49th. Martinez set up Gressel eight minutes later.
DYNAMO 4, GALAXY 2
HOUSTON (AP) — Christian Ramirez scored two goals in Houston’s victory over Los Angeles.
The Galaxy (16-15-3) fell to fifth in the Western Conference standings and will play at No. 4 seed Minnesota in the knockout round.
IMPACT 3, RED BULLS 0
MONTREAL (AP) — Orji Okwonkwo had a goal and an assist to help Montreal beat New York.
With their first loss in three weeks, the playoff-bound Red Bulls (14-14-6) dropped to sixth in the Eastern Conference. New York will play the Philadelphia Union in the first round of the playoffs.
TORONTO FC 1, CREW 0
TORONTO (AP) — Alejandro Pozuelo scored on a free kick in the 57th minute and Toronto FC beat Columbus to earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Toronto (13-10-11) leapfrogged the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United to finish fourth in the East via goal difference over D.C. United. Toronto and D.C. United will meet Oct. 19 or 20, with the winner facing New York City FC in the Eastern semifinals.
Pozuelo ended the scoreless deadlock after Jozy Altidore was taken down just outside the penalty box. The Spaniard coolly slotted the ball over the Columbus wall and into the corner of the goal for his 12th goal of the season. Columbus finished 10-16-8.
D.C. United (13-10-11), which is unbeaten, with three wins, in its last five matches, fell to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and will play at No. 4 seed Toronto in the knockout round.
Przemyslaw Tyton made with three saves for expansion Cincinnati, which allowed an MLS-record 75 goals this season. Cincinnati (6-22-6) played the entire second half down two men.
NEW YORK CITY FC 2, UNION 1
New York City (18-6-10), the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, earned a first-round bye and will play No. 4 seed Toronto or fifth-seeded D.C. United in the conference semifinals.
Philadelphia (16-11-7) lost three of its last four regular-season games, falling from first to third in the Eastern standings. The Union will host the sixth-seeded New York Red Bulls in the knockout round.
Marco Fabián scored for the Union.
REAL SALT LAKE 1, WHITECAPS 0
Crepeau made three saves for the Whitecaps (8-16-10).
FIRE 5, ORLANDO CITY 2