In the quarterfinals, New York faces two-time defending champion Houston; Real Salt Lake meets Chivas USA; New England will clash with Chicago; and regular-season champ Columbus will battle Kansas City.
The Red Bulls (nee MetroStars) reach the postseason for the sixth straight year looking for their first-ever title. They failed to clinch a playoff spot on their own when they were thumped, 5-2, by Chicago on Thursday but benefited from D.C. United's loss in Columbus, for which Brad Evans scored on a Frankie Hejduk assist after D.C. hit the woodwork three times in its futile effort to notch the win that would have earned it the playoff spot.
Yura Movsisyan scored on a rebound from Colorado keeper Bouna Coundoul after an Andy Williams' shot in the 90th minute to give Real Salt Lake the 1-1 tie that earned it third-place in the West and a playoff ticket.
Kansas City, which earned a wild-card spot (along with New York) before its final game, finished the regular season on a high note when goals by Claudio Lopez, Davy Arnaud and an own goal (Michael Parkhurst) gave it a 3-1 win over last year's runner-up, New England.
"I'm certainly very pleased,'' Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio after his team's back-door entry. "We will work as hard as we can to give a good account of ourselves against the champions."