Substitute Nick DeLeon scored in the 78th minute, and Quentin Westberg made a key penalty-shot save in the first half as visiting Toronto FC rallied to upset defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United 2-1 in the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday night.
For the third time in four seasons, Toronto will face the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup final. The Nov. 10 game will be played in Seattle.
The Sounders won the title in 2016, and TFC got payback one season later.
Nicolas Benezet also scored for fourth-seeded Toronto, which is unbeaten in its last 13 matches.
The decisive goal was a laser strike from De Leon, following a pirouette move at the top of the box, that found the top corner of the net to break a 1-1 tie late in the match.
Second-seeded Atlanta was the aggressor most of the night but was unable to prevail despite having a chance to put away the game in the first quarter-hour. It was just the third MLS home loss of the season for United, and it was Toronto's first-ever victory at Atlanta.
"Today was about resiliency," Toronto coach Greg Vanney told FS1. "It wasn't beautiful soccer ... Passion, heart, dedication and just making plays.
"A lot of hard work by a lot of guys. A gritty, gritty effort."
The scoring began in the fourth minute when Atlanta's Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez got behind the Toronto back line. Teammate Julian Gressel caught up to make it a two-on-one with TFC keeper Westberg, and Gressel took an easy pass from Martinez and drilled it into an empty net for a 1-0 Atlanta lead.
Westberg, though, announced his presence in the 11th minute when he made a diving stop on Josef Martinez's penalty attempt following a Michael Bradley foul in the box. TFC then answered three minutes later when Benezet bent a shot from the left elbow of the box that was slotted past Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan to level the score line.
Atlanta kept th
Raul Ruidiaz scored twice and Nicolas Lodeiro added a goal and two assists as the visiting Seattle Sounders upset host Los Angeles FC 3-1 Tuesday night in Major League Soccer's Western Conference final.
The Sounders (19-10-8) advanced to the MLS Cup final for the third time in the past four seasons. On Nov. 10, they will play the winner of Wednesday night's Eastern Conference final between Atlanta United and Toronto FC. If Atlanta wins, it would host the MLS Cup, while Seattle would play host if Toronto captures the East title.
As for Tuesday, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said he understood the pressure the home team faces in one-game playoffs, having been there last season. And he was emphatic in praising his team for overcoming some early adversity against top-seeded LAFC.
"We came out and went down a goal and came back and scored three in their home," Schmetzer said on ESPN immediately following the match. "So you guys tell me if my team deserves some credit."
It was a difficult defeat for Los Angeles, which set an MLS record with 72 points during a 21-4-9 regular season.
"It's frustrating to have a home game in the semifinal with a chance to host the final and not get it done. We all feel that way," LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. "We will continue trying to take the football ideas we have, challenge guys and continue to develop. There were a lot of good things this season, but in this moment the only thing that every one of us feels is disappointment."
LAFC's Carlos Vela, who scored a league-record 34 goals in the regular season and added two more in a 5-3 playoff victory against the rival Los Angeles Galaxy last week, was kept off the scoresheet. Eduard Atuesta scored the lone goal for the Black & Gold.
Leading 2-1 at the half, the Sounders got an insurance goal by Ruidiaz in the 64th minute. A long pass down the left wing was chested down by LAFC defender Walker Zimmerma
Julian Gressel's early goal and Josef Martinez's late goal led Atlanta United to a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night, sending the home team into Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference final.
Second-seeded Atlanta United (20-12-4) will play host to fourth-seeded Toronto FC (15-10-11) on Wednesday. The game will feature the reigning MLS Cup champion, Atlanta, and the 2018 champion, Toronto.
The third-seeded Union (17-12-7) saw their season end four days after the first playoff win in franchise history.
Gressel scored after a series of connecting passes, with Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez delivering the ball that Gressel put away in the 10th minute of the match. It was Gressel's first career postseason goal in his eighth playoff game.
Brad Guzan made three saves in keeping the Union scoreless. Guzan robbed Philadelphia's Brenden Aaronson of a 17th minute goal with an athletic stop.
Atlanta had two chances within seconds of each other to add to its lead in the 60th minute, but Union goalkeeper Andre Blake stopped both direct shots on goal.
Blake finished with three saves.
In the 80th minute, Josef Martinez, who led Atlanta United with 27 regular-season goals, ran down a long ball from Gressel. He then used his speed to put enough distance between himself and Union defenders to get off a shot that soared past Blake and into the top corner of the net.
Josef Martinez has seven goals in seven career games against Philadelphia. He was close to scoring just before halftime but missed wide right on a header off a cross from Gressel.
Atlanta United had won its playoff opener 2-0 over the seventh-seeded New England Revolution on Saturday. Philadelphia edged the sixth-seeded New York Red Bulls 4-3 after extra time on Sunday.
--Field Level Media
Alejandro Pozuelo's second goal of the match, a penalty kick in the 90th minute, gave Toronto FC a 2-1 victory over host New York City FC in a Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semifinal at Citi Field on Wednesday.
Toronto, the fourth seed, plays at Atlanta or Philadelphia in the conference final on Oct. 30. The third-seeded Union will visit the second-seeded Atlanta United on Thursday.
Richie Laryea drew the penalty against defender Ronald Matarrita in the 88th minute on a clumsy tackle in the right corner of the box.
Pozuelo scored down the middle against Sean Johnson for his fifth goal in three games vs. NYCFC this season.
Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg made a diving save on Valentin Castellanos in the 94th minute.
Pozuelo gave Toronto the lead in the 47th minute before Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored the equalizer in the 69th.
Early in the second half, NYCFC, the East's No. 1 seed, was deep in its end when midfielder Alexander Ring headed the ball to Maxime Chanot. The defender then sent a back header toward Johnson, but Pozuelo intercepted. Pozuelo brought the ball down and slotted in a left-footed shot from 12 yards.
New York City responded over the next 20 minutes and was finally rewarded when Maxi Moralez, who led MLS with 20 assists in the regular season, sent in a cross from the left flank. Tajouri-Shradi timed the one-bounce pass perfectly and gave Westberg no chance to make a save.
Last week, the match was moved from Yankee Stadium, where NYCFC was 11-1-5 this season, because of the possibility that the New York Yankees would host World Series games. They wound up failing to make the World Series.
Despite the switch in venue, the tighter dimensions of Yankee Stadium were kept. However, Toronto looked more at home in the first half, and New York City struggled with not having a competitive match in 17 days.
Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and an assist as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting Real Salt Lake 2-0 Wednesday night in Major League Soccer's Western Conference semifinals.
Gustav Svensson also scored for the second-seeded Sounders (18-10-8), who will meet the winner of Thursday night's Los Angeles derby for the conference title. If top-seeded Los Angeles FC wins, they would host the conference final next Tuesday, while the fifth-seeded Galaxy would travel to Seattle if they pull off the upset.
The West final is scheduled for Tuesday.
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, the 20-year veteran who has announced this will be his final season, kept his team in the game with seven saves.
But RSL (17-14-5) was unable to get much going offensively, putting just one shot on goal, a harmless attempt from long range by Damir Kreilach in the first half, and finished the game with 10 men after Everton Luiz received a red card in the 83rd minute for a hard tackle on Svensson near midfield.
Svensson opened the scoring in the 64th minute off a corner kick by Lodeiro. The Swedish international ran onto the ball near the top edge of the 6-yard box and flicked a header just inside the near post, leaving Rimando no chance.
The Sounders put the game away in the 81st minute, after defender Brad Smith sprung Raul Ruidiaz free with a long pass down the left wing. Ruidiaz drove deep into the penalty area before making a back pass for Lodeiro, whose left-footed, 15-yard shot curled away from Rimando and found the right side netting.
Ruidiaz nearly scored a third in second-half stoppage time, but his attempt was cleared off the line in the fourth extra minute.
After a scoreless first half, in which the best chance was Lodeiro's shot off the left post in the fifth minute, the Sounders pushed hard for a goal early in the second.
Defender Kelvin Leerdam had two chances in the
Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos each scored goals with less than 20 minutes remaining, and the Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 2-1 victory Sunday night over Minnesota United in Saint Paul, Minn.
The victory for the fifth-seeded Galaxy sets up a road matchup with cross-town rival Los Angeles FC, the top seed, on Thursday, with the winner moving one victory away from a spot in MLS Cup.
Minnesota United closed to within a goal at in the 87th minute on a strike by Jan Gregus, off a pass from Darwin Quintero, but could not finish the comeback. Quintero, who led the Loons with 10 goals in the regular season, did not start. He came on as a substitute in the 60th minute.
Lletget scored from just outside the 6-yard box in the 71st minute to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead, collecting a loose ball after Zlatan Ibrahomivic's weak shot from out front was deflected by Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall. Lletget had three goals in 29 regular-season games.
Dos Santos scored two minutes later when his long-range shot from outside of the penalty found the right side of the Minnesota United goal, past goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Dos Santos scored two goals in 29 games during the regular season.
Minnesota United, the No. 4 seed, controlled the run of play often during the team's first ever MLS playoff game but could not find the finishing touch in front of the Galaxy goal. The Loons took 16 shots to the Galaxy's 13.
Led by MLS defender of the year Ike Opara, the Minnesota United defense held Ibrahimovic in check after the striker scored 30 goals in the regular season, second most in MLS. Mannone did make a diving save on an Ibrahimovic shot moments after Lletget gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.
The Galaxy earned their first road victory in a playoff game since 2012, and they will have to repeat the feat against the top team in MLS to keep their season
Marco Fabian's right-footed chip late in the first 15-minute period of extra time was the game-winning goal for the Philadelphia Union, who stunned the visiting New York Red Bulls with two second-half goals for a 4-3 win Sunday in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference playoffs in Chester, Pa.
The third-seeded Union won their first ever postseason game after three losses in the 10 seasons of franchise history. Philadelphia advances to play on the road against second-seeded Atlanta United on Thursday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Fafa Picault's 78th-minute goal sent Talen Energy Stadium into a frenzy, tying the score at 3 after the Union had trailed 3-1 to start the second half. The Union scored three unanswered goals after halftime and absolved goalkeeper Andre Blake of his net-minding blunders.
Another apparent Union overtime goal was waved off for an offside violation, but the Union hung on for the final 15-minute extra-time period.
Fabian's goal appeared to take a slight deflection that affected the ball's path past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and into the net, but the Mexican international was credited with the goal. Picault, who made a big impact on offense after entering as a 72nd-minute sub, got the assist.
The sixth-seeded Red Bulls appeared to have the game well in hand with first-half goals from Josh Sims, Tim Parker and Tom Barlow. Barlow's goal came when Blake couldn't catch a ball sent in toward goal, and the rebound came out to Barlow for a stoppage-time goal and 3-1 lead right before the halftime whistle.
Parker and Sims each netted their first goal of 2019. Barlow had just three in the regular season.
Sims, before leaving the game due to injury, struck from just outside the box on the run in the sixth minute. Parker, in the 24th minute, headed in a ball that cleared Blake's hands and came out into the middle of the box.
Jordan Morris scored his first career hat trick, including the winner in extra time, as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting FC Dallas 4-3 Saturday afternoon in the first round of the MLS playoffs.
Raul Ruidiaz added a goal and an assist for the second-seeded Sounders, who will next play host to Real Salt Lake -- who were 2-1 winners against Portland -- in the Western Conference semifinals.
Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges and Bryan Acosta scored for seventh-seeded Dallas, which rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to force extra time.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made five saves -- all in overtime.
The Sounders improved to 12-1-3 against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field, including 3-0-1 in the playoffs.
Seattle took a 2-0 lead midway through the first half, as Ruidiaz and Morris scored four minutes apart -- in the 18th and 22nd minutes. Ruidiaz scored on a 25-yard blast that skipped off the wet turf and past Dallas goalie Jesse Gonzalez. Morris slipped a 10-yard shot under Gonzalez on a two-on-one break with Joevin Jones.
Cannon pulled FC Dallas within a goal with an unassisted score in the 39th.
Dallas tied it on Hedges' header off a Michael Barrios corner kick in the 64th minute.
Morris gave Seattle a 3-2 lead in the 74th as Nicolas Lodeiro's corner kick was flicked on by Gustav Svensson to Morris, who was being pulled down by a defender about 2 yards out from the middle of the goal. Morris was able to get his left foot on the ball as he was falling backward, deflecting it into the left-side netting.
Dallas tied it at 3-3 in the 82nd minute on Acosta's header off a corner by Reto Ziegler.
Gonzalez made a diving save on a shot by Seattle's Kelvin Leerdam in second-half stoppage time to preserve the tie before Morris broke through in the 113th minute. Gonzalez made five saves.
--Field Level Media
Jefferson Savarino scored his first career MLS postseason goal in the 87th minute to lift Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs in Sandy, Utah on Saturday.
Damir Kreilach also scored his fourth playoff goal in as many postseason appearances for third-seeded RSL, who advanced to face second-seeded Seattle next Wednesday night. All four playoff games Saturday were won by the home team.
Nick Rimando made three saves in the victory, prolonging his career by at least one more game in what is his 20th and final MLS season.
Dairon Asprilla scored for sixth-seeded Portland, the defending Western Conference champion, who fell to RSL after winning both of the teams' regular-season meetings.
Savarino struck the winner on a sequence created by Joao Plata, who cut inside from the left and drove a slow, low cross toward Albert Rusnak. After Portland defender Bill Tuiloma mistimed a clearance attempt and narrowly nicked the ball, Rusnak let the ball roll past him to Savarino, who was unmarked at the back post and drove a low finish between Steve Clark and his left post.
Asprilla pulled Portland level just two minutes after halftime, finding a sliver of space at the back post and rising to head Sebastian Blanco's cross from the right back across goal and inside Rimando's left post.
The equalizer came on Portland's first goal-bound attempt of the evening, and set off a sequence of plenty of opportunities for both teams.
For RSL, Marcelo Silva flashed his header of Kyle Beckerman's cross just wide of the left post in the 62nd minute.
On the other end, Rimando sprawled left to palm away Sebastian Blanco's effort from distance in the 66th minute, then lunged to his right to corral Diego Valeri's strike from a similar position in the 68th. And Rimando could only watch as Blanco's overhead kick deflected off Nedum Onuoha a
Jonathan Osorio scored two of Toronto FC's four goals in the first half of extra time, as the hosts recorded a 5-1 victory over D.C. United in an Eastern Conference opening-round playoff match Saturday.
The four extra-time goals are an MLS playoff record.
Richie Laryea and former D.C. United defender/midfielder Nick DeLeon also tallied in extra time to help fourth-seeded Toronto FC rebound after Lucas Rodriguez forged a tie off a set piece in second-half stoppage time.
Marco Delgado scored in the 32nd minute, and Quentin Westberg made five saves for Toronto FC, who will carry an 11-match unbeaten streak (5-0-6) into their conference semifinal contest at New York City FC on Wednesday. TFC went 1-0-1 against NYCFC during the regular season.
Laryea broke the 1-1 tie, capping a nifty passing sequence from Michael Bradley and DeLeon in the 93rd minute. Osorio's right-footed shot from close range doubled the advantage just two minutes later.
Osorio completed the brace with a shot from the center of the box in the 103rd minute, and DeLeon capped the scoring three minutes later with a bending rocket into the top right corner.
Toronto FC played without star striker Jozy Altidore and defender Omar Gonzalez. Altidore sustained a quad injury in the regular-season finale against Columbus, while Gonzalez failed a fitness test prior to Saturday's match due to a hamstring injury.
The loss for fifth-seeded D.C. United spelled the end of the MLS career of Wayne Rooney. The former Everton and Manchester United star announced in August he'll be going back to England to be a player and assistant coach for second-tier Derby County.
After posting five straight clean sheets to end the regular season, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid (12 saves) was unable to control Alejandro Pozuelo's shot from outside the box in the first half. The ball squirted right to Delgado, who converted from the
Franco Escobar scored in the 70th minute and Brad Guzan made six saves as Atlanta United started defense of the MLS Cup title with a 1-0 victory over the visiting New England Revolution on Saturday in an Eastern Conference first-round knockout match.
Atlanta, the second seed, hosts the winner of the Philadelphia Union versus New York Red Bulls match in a conference semifinal on Thursday.
Escobar made a run down the right flank from his defender position and received an entry ball by Ezequiel Barco that went between two New England players. Escobar was in stride to power a shot underneath the crossbar for his second goal of the season.
Matt Turner made a big save on Atlanta leading scorer Josef Martinez in the 88th minute to keep it a one-goal game when he raced to the penalty spot to smother the shot.
Turner finished with four saves.
There was no feeling-out period in the first half because the teams knew each other well after United beat the Revolution 3-1 in the Oct. 6 regular-season finale.
The result was an entertaining opening 45 minutes with New England putting four of its seven shots on target while Atlanta forced two saves by Turner on nine attempts.
The Revolution was able to find space early in the absence of Atlanta defender Miles Robinson, who injured his hamstring while training with the U.S. national team during the nearly two-week break.
New England, in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, had the best opportunity to break the deadlock in the 37th minute when Cristian Penilla unleashed a 30-yard drive. Guzan, who had 14 shutouts in the regular season, dived to protect the left post and made a stretching save.
Turner matched Guzan's exploits in the 55th minute with his own spectacular stop on a 1-on-1 with Barco.
Atlanta captain Michael Parkhurst, a defender, sustained a left shoulder injury in the 93rd minute and ha
C.J. Sapong, Aleksander Katai and Przemyslaw Frankowski scored second-half goals over a six-minute span and Kenneth Kronholm had eight saves to lead the visiting Chicago Fire to a 5-2 victory over Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon.
Frankowski finished with two goals and Chicago (10-12-12, 42 points) also scored on an own goal by Lions defender Kyle Smith to finish in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Benji Michel had a goal and an assist and Tesho Akindele also scored a goal for Orlando City (9-15-10, 37 points), which went winless in its last eight games and finished in 11th place. Brian Rowe finished with five saves.
Orlando City had seven shots in the first half, including six on target, but managed to just get one past Kronholm. That came in the fifth minute when Akindele fired a shot from the middle of the box off a pass from Michel that ricocheted off the right post and hit the back of Kronholm's left ankle and then rolled into the net. It was Akindele's 10th goal of the season.
Chicago tied it in the 17th minute when Katai fired a crossing pass from the right baseline into the middle of the six-yard box for Sapong, but a sliding Smith deflected the ball into his own goal.
Akindele nearly scored his second goal of the game in the 54th minute when he whipped a header off a Nani pass off the right post.
Sapong then put Chicago ahead to stay in the 61st minute with his team-best 13th goal of the season, putting in a short cross from Katai from the middle of the six-yard box.
Katai made it 3-1 two minutes later with his sixth goal with a left-footed shot from the top of the box that went inside the left post. Frankowski followed four minutes later with a nifty back-heel shot from the middle of the box that also went into left side of the net.
Michel cut the Fire lead to 4-2 in the 74th minute with his fifth goal. Frankowski then earned a brace with a goa
Ronald Matarrita scored his first goal of the year, and visiting New York City FC closed out a stellar regular season with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in Sunday's regular-season finale at Chester, Pa.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was also credited with a first-half goal, and Valentin Castellanos had two assists for NYCFC (18-6-10, 64 points), who had already secured first place in the East and a first-round playoff bye prior to Sunday's Decision Day. New York, though, bounced back from last week's 2-0 loss at New England and kept Philadelphia (16-11-7, 55 points) from earning the second seed in the conference.
The Union, who have dropped three of their last four, end the regular season in third place -- behind second-place Atlanta -- and will host the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the MLS playoffs. Marco Fabian came through with Philadelphia's lone goal off a penalty kick in the 87th minute for this seventh of 2019.
Philadelphia star forward Kacper Przybylko, the team leader with 15 goals, was scratched from the starting XI, reportedly due to an injury suffered during warmups Sunday.
Putting out a strong starting XI of their own that included Castellanos and Maxi Moralez, NYCFC struck in the seventh minute via Matarrita. Off a tap from Castellanos, Matarrita struck the ball past Philadelphia keeper Andre Blake, who was out of position for the save.
New York made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute when Tajouri-Shradi was credited with his fifth goal of the season on a turn-and-shoot move that appeared to glance off the Union's Jamiro Monteiro. Nonetheless, the ball floated over Blake and into the net.
The host side had its share of scoring chances, most notably in the second half, but often missed the target. Fabian eventually put Philadelphia on the scoresheet after New York's Ebenezer Ofori's was whistled for a ball to the hand in the box.
NYCFC keeper Sean Johnson made
Roman Torres scored the first goal of his five-year MLS career as the Seattle Sounders clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 1-0 victory against visiting Minnesota United on Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale.
The Sounders (16-10-8, 56 points) were tied for second with the Loons entering the game. Seattle will have home-field advantage through the conference semifinals, starting with a match against seventh-seeded FC Dallas.
Minnesota (15-11-8, 53 points) dropped into the No. 4 seed and will play host to the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Galaxy.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei was forced to make just one save in posting his 10th shutout of the season.
Torres, a 33-year-old defender, who was making his return to the starting lineup after serving a 10-match league suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, has a history of coming up big.
He converted the winning penalty kick for the Sounders in a shootout in the 2016 MLS Cup against Toronto FC. Internationally, he scored the winning goal in 2017 against Costa Rica to send Panama to the World Cup for the first time, in the process helping knock out the United States.
Torres scored the winner Sunday in the 29th minute.
Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, who had missed the previous two matches with lower-back injury, took a corner kick from the left side. The ball sailed long, but was tracked down near the far sideline by Joevin Jones, whose left-footed cross found Torres unmarked at the top of the 6-yard box near the left post.
Torres' header took one hop off the turf and went just inside the left post, leaving Loons goalkeeper Vito Mannone flat-footed.
Mannone made three saves, all in the first half.
Minnesota midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Sounders, was honored in a pregame ceremony. It was Alonso's first tri
Alejandro Pozuelo's goal in the 58th minute gave Toronto FC a 1-0 victory over the visiting Columbus Crew on Sunday to clinch fourth place in the Eastern Conference and home field in the first round of the playoffs.
Toronto (13-10-11, 50 points) entered the final day of the regular season in sixth but a New York Red Bulls loss to Montreal and D.C. United's tie against Cincinnati enabled TFC to tie D.C. on points and claim the tiebreaker on goal differential (plus-5 to plus-4).
The Reds, 4-0-6 in the past 10 games, will host a knockout match vs. D.C. United on Oct. 19 or 20.
The Crew (10-16-8, 38 points) had been eliminated from playoff contention with two matches left.
Pozuelo's 12th goal of the season matched his assist total. He scored on a free kick from 25 yards, taking two strides and then lofting the ball over the wall as goalkeeper Eloy Room watched it go by.
The Crew almost got the equalizer a few moments later when Luis Diaz had a brilliantly struck 28-yarder go off the right corner post.
Quentin Westberg made two saves for his fourth shutout.
Columbus had the better early chances and put together five good minutes beginning in the 22nd. First, Diaz chested a long ball by Gyasi Zardes and struck a low shot that Westberg stopped.
Then, defender Josh Williams had a strike blocked in front, but the second-chance ball came to Artur. His service to the back post was just out of the reach of Williams.
It was Toronto's turn to apply pressure when Jozy Altidore took an entry ball from Marky Delgado and found himself with an opening at the top of the penalty area. He tried for the left corner but sent the shot wide in the 34th minute.
Two minutes, later Room made a diving save on Altidore and another save on the rebound try by Michael Bradley.
--Field Level Media
Christian Ramirez recorded a brace, with his second tally as the game winner, as the Houston Dynamo outlasted the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 4-2 on Sunday on the final day of the MLS regular season.
Ramirez's deciding goal came in the 83rd minute after a centering pass from Alberth Elis through the wilting Galaxy defense and allowed the Dynamo (12-18-4, 40 points) to end their tumultuous season on a winning note.
The loss and a victory by Real Salt Lake over Vancouver dropped Los Angeles (16-15-3, 51 points) into fifth place in the Western Conference standings and will force the Galaxy to open the MLS Cup playoffs on the road at Minnesota, which lost to Seattle on Decision Day.
LA's Zlatan Ibrahimovic began the scoring with an effortless goal in the ninth minute. He stood just at the edge of the box after a pass from Sebastian Lletget, and, flatfooted, lifted a right-footed shot between two defenders and over Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric into the right corner of the goal.
It was Ibrahimovic's 30th goal of the season; he finished second in the race for the Golden Boot to Los Angeles FC's Carlos Vela, who established a new MLS single-season scoring record of 34 with three goals on Sunday.
Ramirez tied the game two minutes into first-half stoppage time, booting home the rebound of an Elis shot that clanged off the right post.
Cristian Pavon put the Galaxy up 2-1 nine minutes into the second half as he ripped a right-footer to Deric's left after a cross-box pass from Uriel Antuna and following a steadying assist off the back heel from Favio Alvarez.
Elis evened the match in the 62nd minute, waiting on the back post unmarked just inside the six-yard box for a pass from Aljaz Struna before strafing a shot past David Bingham. Memo Rodriguez finished the scoring for Houston with a goal off Elis's second assist four minutes into second-half stoppage time.
Orji Okwonkwo had a goal and an assist, and the host Montreal Impact pushed the New York Red Bulls to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon.
The Red Bulls entered the game in fifth and needed to win and D.C. United to lose to FC Cincinnati to get fourth. New York (14-14-6, 48 points) fell to sixth when Toronto scored to win the tiebreaker on goal differential. The Red Bulls will open the postseason at the third-seeded Philadelphia Union on Oct. 19 or 20.
A year after winning the Supporters' Shield for the most points in the MLS, the Red Bulls stumbled down the stretch by going 2-4-1 in their last seven games. New York also continues to struggle in Montreal, where it is 0-8-2 in its last 10 trips.
Okwonkwo recorded his first game with a goal and an assist by setting up Montreal's first goal and scoring the Impact's third in the 62nd minute.
Bojan Krkic scored in the 23rd minute, and Maximiliano Urruti scored in the 37th minute as the Impact (12-17-5, 41 points) halted a four-game (0-3-1) winless skid and finished the season 2-6-2 in their last 10 games.
Goalkeeper Clement Diop finished with one save in his second start in place of Evan Bush. He recorded his third career MLS shutout.
New York goalkeeper Luis Robles made one save after posting shutouts in his previous three games.
The Impact capitalized on spotty New York defense to take their first halftime lead in five games.
Five minutes after Robles stopped Saphir Taider's header attempt, Krkic scored his third goal of the year. He got a crossing pass through the box from Okwonkwo and got a right-footed shot from close range to sail by Robles.
Fourteen minutes later, Urruti gained possession near the end line after some confusion by the Red Bulls. He lifted a shot into the net after taking the ball from New York defender Michael Murillo. Murillo entered
Damir Kreilach scored the lone goal as Real Salt Lake claimed the No. 3 seed in the MLS Western Conference playoffs with a 1-0 victory at Vancouver on Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale.
RSL (16-13-5, 53 points) entered Decision Day with a playoff berth already secured and in fifth place in the West, but moving up to third place means at least one more home game for retiring goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Rimando made five saves for his league-record 154th shutout of his 20-year career. It was his 10th shutout of the season. RSL will host the sixth-seeded Portland Timbers in the opening round.
Salt Lake moved past Minnesota United, which lost 1-0 at Seattle, and the Los Angeles Galaxy, who suffered a 4-2 defeat at Houston.
Kreilach scored the winner in the 28th minute, with assists from Corey Baird and Kyle Beckerman. It was the sixth goal of the season for the 30-year-old Croatian midfielder.
After an RSL attack was thwarted in the penalty box, the ball came back to Beckerman about 30 yards out in the center of the field. He immediately made a pass to Baird on the left wing. Baird's cross found Kreilach all alone about 3 yards in front of the net and he was able to put a header through Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau's legs.
RSL nearly doubled their advantage in the 41st minute, but Crepeau made a diving save to his right on an 18-yard shot from Jefferson Savarino after a failed Vancouver clearing attempt.
Crepeau finished with three saves for the Whitecaps (8-16-10, 34 points), who had a three-match unbeaten streak snapped. Vancouver finished in last place in the West.
Rimando's best save came in the 69th minute, after Vancouver's Michaell Chirinos was left alone on the right wing. Rimando got a hand on Chirinos' low shot and the ball deflected off the left post.
--Field Level Media
Josef Martinez had a goal and two assists in his return from injury, and Atlanta United FC earned a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory over the visiting New England Revolution in Sunday's regular-season finale.
Martinez, who had not played since suffering a leg injury on Sept. 21, looked quite fit in his return, especially when he drilled a laser past New England keeper Matt Turner to break a 1-1 tie in the 49th minute for his 27th goal of the season.
Julian Gressel, who also had two assists, scored eight minutes later to help Atlanta (18-12-4, 58 points) claim the No. 2 seed out of the East for the MLS playoffs. United, the reigning MLS Cup champions, will host this same New England side in the first round, starting Oct. 19 or 20.
The Revolution (11-11-12, 45 points) are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2015 after finishing seventh in the East. The club began the season 2-8-2, sacked coach Brad Friedel, then turned things around under the guidance of legendary coach Bruce Arena.
It did not take long for Martinez to get into the mix. He started with a pass on the right wing to Gressel, who delivered a perfect ground-cross into the box that Darlington Nagbe deposited into the net just three minutes into the match.
However, New England leveled the contest at 1 just five minutes later. Cristian Penilla got the ball between two United defenders and converted on a relatively easy one-on-one encounter with keeper Brad Guzan.
It stayed tied at halftime, but Atlanta turned up the heat in the second half. Martinez took a long volley, got behind the New England back end and easily drilled the ball home for the go-ahead goal. Gressel added his sixth of the season for insurance in the 57th minute.
Retiring Atlanta midfielder Michael Parkhurst played his final regular-season game Sunday.
--Field Level Media
Carlos Vela scored three times to set an MLS record for goals in a season and Los Angeles FC also set the record for points in a convincing 3-1 victory Sunday that officially eliminated the visiting Colorado Rapids from playoff consideration.
The accomplished career of Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard came to an end in the defeat. Howard, 40, will head into retirement after 185 MLS games in goal, 121 with the U.S. Men's National team and 399 in the English Premier League with Everton and Manchester United.
LAFC (21-4-9, 72 points) topped the MLS record point total of 71 set by the New York Red Bulls last season. The team also matched the MLS record of 85 goals in a season, also held by the 1998 Los Angeles Galaxy. LAFC finished the regular season 13-1-3 at home.
LAFC already had clinched the MLS Supporter's Shield and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The second-year club will open postseason play in the Western Conference semifinals on Oct. 23 or 24 against the winner of the first-round matchup between Minnesota United FC and the Galaxy.
Vela's three goals gave him 34 on the season to put him in sole possession of the record, breaking a tie at 31 with Atlanta United's Josef Martinez, who reached the mark last season. His only other MLS hat trick came on March 30 at San Jose. It was his seventh multi-goal game of the season.
Vela's first goal came in the 28th minute on a blast from outside of the penalty area and over Howard's outstretched right arm. He added his second three minutes later on a bicycle kick from just in front of the goal off a pass from Tristan Blackmon.
The Rapids pulled to within a goal at 2-1 on a score from Kei Kamara, his 14th of the season, in the 40th minute, but Vela added his third in the 51st minute when he redirected a centering pass from Walker Zimmerman past Howard.
LAFC ultimately lost Zimmerman for the rest of the game after a violent head-t