The New York Red Bulls,
despite winning just two of their last nine games, snuck into the playoffs because D.C. United fell, 1-0, to Columbus on Sunday while Real Salt Lake reached the postseason for the first time in
club history thanks to a 1-1 tie with Colorado on Saturday.
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
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."