Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Midweek MLS Madness: Toronto clinches first ever playoff berth, Portland back above the line

Toronto FC 2-1 New York Red Bulls
Second half goals from Hercules Gomes in the 51st minute and likely MVP Sebastian Giovinco in the 78th deny New York's chance to clinch the first seed in the East playoffs. Shaun Wright-Phillips pulled on back for the Red Bulls in the 86th, but it wasn't enough to salvage a point. More importantly for the Reds, they clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time in club history, becoming the third team in the East to qualify for the postseason. 

FC Dallas 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
Dallas claims a three point lead over LA atop the West thanks to Michael Barrios in the 32nd and Mauro Diaz in the 52nd. It was a thorough defeat of their fellow playoff foes, as Vancouver only mustered one shot on target for the whole match, Both sides already had their playoff places wrapped up. The Caps are four points back of Dallas in third place with a pair of games left to platy.

Real Salt Lake 0-1 Portland Timbers
Jamison Olave took down Lucas Melano in red card inducing fashion in the 52nd minute to breathe life into a match that was destined for a scoreless draw. Melano was alone against Nick Rimando in goal when he was clipped from behind by the Colombian defender, earning a penalty and sending off. Fanendo Adi nailed the PK for the only goal of the match. The win puts the Timbers back into the playoffs with a three point buffer over San Jose. RSL is now all but eliminated from playoff contention.

So here we stand, two games left in the season and the playoff hunt still well alive. In the East, New York Red Bulls, DC United, and now Toronto FC have all sealed spots in the postseason. New England, Columbus, and Montreal could all join them there this weekend. The only other teal alive is Orlando City, who take on New York City at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. A loss eliminates the Lions and seals our six playoff participants in the East. 

Out West, things are a little murkier. Dallas, LA, and Vancouver are all in already, with Kansas City, Portland, and Seattle also above the red line. Wins from all three would make them the final three teams in the West playoffs.The other clubs out there who can make it are San Jose, who host SKC on Friday, and Houston, who host the Sounders on Sunday. A loss would eliminate both teams 
should Portland take out LA on Sunday night.

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