Bulls clinch playoff spot with win over Vancouver
HARRISON, New Jersey (AP) — Daniel Royer, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Felipe scored and the New York Red Bulls clinched the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer on Saturday night.
Royer opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with a three-touch finish at the end of Sacha Kljestan and Tyler Adams’ two-pass combo. Wright-Phillips made it 2-0 with a chip finish in the 58th minute after Adams’ pass sprung him behind the defense for a breakaway run from near midfield.
Kljestan fed it out from the end line to Felipe, who capped the scoring with a rising blast into the right corner in the 72nd minute.
The Red Bulls (13-12-7) snapped an eight-game winless streak as they eliminated Montreal, New England, Philadelphia and Orlando from playoff contention.
The Whitecaps (15-11-6) missed an opportunity to secure a first-round bye but remained in first place in the West after dropping only their second match in the last 10.
SPORTING KC 1, MINNESOTA UNITED 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brent Kallman equalized with a header in the 84th minute and Minnesota United held on for the draw with Sporting Kansas City.
Kallman sent Abu Danladi’s cross buzzing past Sporting’s backup goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Starter Tim Melia was limping and grabbing at his right hamstring in the 59th minute when Dykstra entered as a substitute. It was Melia’s first time not on the field for Sporting KC this season.
Diego Rubio opened the scoring for Sporting (12-7-12) in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, controlling Latif Blessing’s pass in a tight space and slotting it home with his left foot.
Minnesota’s Joseph Greenspan was sent off for his second yellow card in the 91st minute, but Bobby Shuttleworth helped United (10-16-6) preserve the draw with a reaction save in the 93rd.
Sporting KC moved alone into second place in the Western Conference with the point earned.