NY books MLS playoff berth, San Jose finishes top
Sunday, October 21, 2012
HARRISON, New Jersey (AP) — New York Red Bulls clinched a spot in the Major League Soccer playoffs by drawing with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, while the San Jose Earthquakes secured the Supporters' Shield as the team with the best record in the regular season.
New York played a scoreless home draw against Eastern Conference-leading Sporting, with the Kansas City club's failure to win meaning they cannot catch San Jose for the overall best record.
New York, which has never won an MLS title, clinched a spot in the 10-team playoffs because Columbus Crew — the only team outside the Eastern playoff spots that could have broken in — lost 3-2 at D.C. United.
San Jose — which hosts Los Angeles on Sunday — earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, though they also had the best record in 2005, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
Kansas City extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games.
Columbus' loss also meant the Houston Dynamo were certain of a playoff berth, booking their sixth postseason spot in seven years with a 3-1 home win over Philadelphia Union.
Macoumba Kandji opened the scoring for Houston but Philadelphia equalized through Jack McInerney in the 19th minute.
Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis scored in the space of five minutes midway through the second half to seal the victory.
Chicago Fire slipped from second to third — overtaken by D.C. — with a 1-0 loss at New England Revolution, with the sole goal coming from Diego Fagundez in the 17th minute.
D.C. secured its 3-2 home win over Columbus with a stoppage-time goal from Lewis Neal. Needing only a point to book its first playoff appearance in five years, United twice fell behind.
Eddie Gaven opened the scoring in the seventh minute for Columbus — which had to win to stay alive — but Nick DeLeon tapped in a rebound in the 39th minute to equalize.
Jairo Arrieta quickly restored the visitors' advantage, which they held until the break.
Marcelo Saragosa again pulled D.C. level in the 59th minute and the victory was sealed when Neal beat the goalkeeper to a loose ball and knocked it into the empty net.
In games with no influence on playoff spots, Toronto was held 0-0 at home by Montreal and Colorado Rapids won 2-0 at home against Chivas.