PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Andre Hainault and Danny Cruz scored goals and the Houston Dynamo took a big step toward the MLS playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Friday night.
The Dynamo (11-9-13) have 46 points, putting them in good position to take one of the league's 10 playoff berth. Houston assured itself of no worse than a tie for 10th after Saturday's games.
The win vaulted the Dynamo into second place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of New York (43 points), Columbus (44) and Sporting Kansas City (45), all of whom play Saturday. The Dynamo can guarantee a fifth trip to the playoffs in six seasons by beating league-leading Los Angeles in their final regular-season match Oct. 23.
The Timbers (11-14-7) have 40 points and are virtually eliminated from the playoffs. Their last two matches are on the road, where they are 1-4-2 in their last seven games. Portland lost at home for the first time in seven matches.
Hainault scored in the 36th minute off a free kick from Brad Davis. Cruz powered a left-footed kick into the left corner in the 59th minute.
Rapids 0, Real Salt Lake 0
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) - Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens posted his eighth shutout of the season without having to make a save and the Rapids and Real Salt Lake tied.
The draw was enough to keep RSL ahead of Colorado (11-9-13) in the Western Conference. It was Colorado's fourth scoreless tie of the season, giving the Rapids 46 points.
Real Salt Lake (15-11-7) has 52 points with a game to play. The team is 0-4-1 in its past five games.
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando made two saves for Real Salt Lake.