The New York Red Bulls are in the MLS playoffs and occupying the fourth-place spot, after their 3-1 victory over Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena last Saturday night. The home team has two regular season games to play, including its last home game on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3:00 p.m. versus the Columbus Crew, which is in fifth and final spot and most likely will make the playoffs. The Crew defeated Philadelphia Union, 3-2, last Saturday, and the Houston Dynamo suffered a 3-1 loss to Eastern Conference leader D.C. United, also on Saturday. Those losses ensured playoff berths for New York and Columbus.
Meanwhile, league leading scorer, Red Bull Bradley Wright-Phillips, scored his 25th goal and is still two goals shy of the league record 27 goals, set by African American Roy Lassiter in 1996 as a forward with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Wright-Phillips, who now has only two games to either tie or past the record, scored the first goal last Saturday night to get the ball rolling for the Red Bulls in front of 24,068 fans; the forward latched onto a cross from the left side by the overlapping Kosuke Kimura for the 1-0 lead in the 26th minute.
In a rear starting role, midfielder Ruben Bover scored the second goal, which turned out to be his first MLS goal and the game-winner, in the 35th minute when the ball rebounded off the crossbar from a Thierry Henry shot; midfielder Dax McCarty completed the scoring with an assist from Wright-Phillips.
Jonathan Osorio tallied for the visitors at the 55-minute mark with the help of a Michael Bradley assist.
In the rest of the MLS, FC Dallas upset the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, on a late goal by Fabian Castillo, whose header with three minutes to play dimmed the hopes of the Galaxy, which is in a race with Seattle Sounders for the Supporter’s Shield, the top honor that goes to the team with the best regular season record. Stefan Ishizaki gave Los Angeles the 1-0 lead early in the game, but David Texeira tied it for FC Dallas, which is in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
In DC United’s 3-1 win in Houston, Taylor Kemp, Fabian Espindola and Eddie Johnson tallied for DC, while Giles Barnes scored for the home team. In Philadelphia’s loss at home in PPL Park, Danny Cruz and Andrew Wenger put Philadelphia ahead, 2-0, but Columbus replied with three goals in five minutes from Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram and Jairo Arrieta.
Real Salt Lake knocked off San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, and won a playoff berth for the seventh straight time. Ned Grabavoy and Sebastian Velasquez scored for the winners. Montreal Impact and New England Revolution played to a 2-2 draw; Chivas USA beat Colorado Rapids, 2-1, Vancouver Whitecaps upset Seattle Sounders, 1-0, to keep it playoff hopes alive and Sporting Kansas City topped Chicago Fire, 2-0.
USA DRAWS AGAIN
The USA men’s national team drew its second straight game Tuesday night Boca Raton, FL., when it gave up a goal with four minutes to play in regulation to allow Honduras to rally for a 1-1 tie. Jozy Altidore gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute but the U.S. was unable to extend that lead; Honduras was the more determined team in the second half and Maynor Figueroa got the header to equalize. Ditto in Hartford, CT., when Mix Diskerud’s goal in the fifth-minute gave the U. S. a 1-0 lead in Landon Donovan’s farewell game versus Ecuador, but Enner Valencia tied the game from a shot 20 yards out with two minutes to play.