The final weekend of the MLS regular-season won’t be a lame-duck day as far as the playoffs are concerned. At least three spots will be up for grabs Sunday when
all 10 teams wind up their schedules. Montreal and Columbus eased the angst of their fans by securing their slots during the weekend, but failing to close the deal were Sporting Kansas City and New
England. Portland took a giant leap to the playoff doorstep by crushing the Galaxy, 5-2, two days after the Quakes beat Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, to stay in the hunt.
Seattle could have clinched with a win but instead had to rally just to get a point at Houston. That point wasn’t enough for the Dynamo to
stay in the postseason race and also eliminated was Real Salt Lake, which misses the playoffs after seven straight appearances.
FC Dallas and New York Red Bulls stayed tied in the Supporters
Shield race with 57 points by winning. RSL fell at home to FCD, 1-0, and the Red Bulls simply destroyed Philly, 4-1, to take a big lead in the second tiebreaker, goal difference. If the teams finish
tied on points at the end of season, the tiebreakers used to determine the Shield are the same as those used to separate tied teams in other positions.
EASTERN CONFERENCE. As recently as a month ago, it would have seemed crazy for Montreal to clinch before New England, but
that’s just what the Impact did Saturday by posting a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium on a fabulous goal by Ignacio Piatti.
The meeting of two teams
heading in opposite directions and Orlando’s defeat of New York City FC in the final meeting of 2015 expansion teams gives an insight into which teams have racked up points down the
2. Toronto FC (WWWWL).
3. FC Dallas (LTWWW).
5. Portland (LWLWW).
6. Red Bulls (LWWLW).
It took Mike Grella a long time to find his way to MLS, but the native of Glen Cove, N.Y., got his name in the record books by scoring the quickest goal in league
history -- seven seconds -- to spark a 4-1 rout of Philly. Grella, 28, pounced an errant back pass from the Union’s kickoff to trigger a four-goal burst in the first half.
Columbus soured the mood at BMO Field three days after TFC clinched its first playoff spot in nine MLS seasons by securing
its own berth, 2-0. The duel between the top goalscorers fizzled when neither Sebastian Giovinco nor Kei Kamara scored to break their tie at 22 goals, but a nice goal by Ethan
Finlay and a moment of magic by Federico Higuain settled the outcome.
The Lions roared to a fifth
straight victory Friday night but a 2-1 defeat of NYCFC still let them barely clinging to playoff hopes. Two more goals for Cyle Larin increased his rookie record to 16.
Despite a 4-0 pummeling of Chicago, D.C. United is holding just a one-point lead in the race for second place heading into
the final weekend. Four different players scored as United won a second straight game after laboring through six games without a victory.
WESTERN CONFERENCE. The Timbers overpowered the Galaxy by scoring five goals in 25 minutes – including a pair from Fanendo
Adi - to win for the first time at StubHub Center since joining MLS in 2011. They can clinch with a tie when they host Colorado Sunday.
Obafemi Martins’ late equalizer knocked out the Dynamo but left the Sounders perhaps needing a result in its final home game against RSL. In a tougher spot is
SKC, which hosts the Galaxy still not assured of a postseason spot after losing in San Jose, 1-0 as David Bingham chalked up his 12th shutout.
FCD keeper Jesse Gonzalez and his teammates notched his fifth shutout in just 10 appearances to eliminate RSL. In rather limited action
(23 games), Mauro Diaz has four game-winning assists. The league leader has five.
MLS Results, Week 33
Sunday, Oct. 18
LA Galaxy 2, Portland 5.
LAG: Robbie Keane (Juninho) 36.
POR: Fanendo Adi (Lucas Melano, Diego Valeri) 65.
POR: Fanendo Adi (penalty kick) 68.
POR: Diego Chara (Rodney Wallace, Fanendo Adi) 74.
Sunday, Oct. 25 Columbus vs. D.C. United, 5 pm Montreal vs. Toronto FC, 5 pm New York
City vs. New England, 5 pm Philadelphia vs. Orlando, 5 pm Chicago vs. NY Red Bulls, 5 pm FC Dallas vs. San Jose, 7 pm Portland vs. Colorado, 7 pm Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy, 7
pm Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 pm Vancouver vs. Houston, 7 pm All times ET.
MLS Standings: EASTERN
CONFERENCE 57 (33) *NY Red Bulls 17-10-6 60/42 Schedule: 10/25 @CHI 51 (33) *D.C.
United 15-12-6 43/40 Schedule: 10/25 @CLB 50 (33) *Columbus14-11-8 53/53 Schedule: 10/25 DC 49 (33) *Toronto FC 15-14-4 57/56 Schedule: 10/25 @MTL 48 (33)
*Montreal14-13-6 46/43 Schedule: 10/25 TFC 47 (33) New England 13-12-8
45/45 Schedule: 10/17 MTL 10/25 @NYC
Leading MLS Scorers: G PLAYER (TEAM) 22 Kei Kamara (Crew
SC) 22 Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto
FC) 19 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 17 Cyle Larin (Orlando
City) 17 David Villa (New York City) 16 Chris
Wondolowski (San Jose) 16 Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY Red Bulls) 15 Obafemi
Martins (Seattle) 15 Fanendo Adi (Portland) 12 Jozy
Altidore (Toronto FC)