30.09.2019 04:29 h

New England, Real Salt Lake seal MLS playoff berths

Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake

Canadian winger Teal Bunbury's goal in the 66th minute Sunday launched the New England Revolution into the Major League Soccer playoffs while Real Salt Lake joined the post-season parade by defeating Houston.

Bunbury, whose Guyana-born father was a Canadian international, netted the pivotal goal and Argentine teammate Gustavo Bou added an insurance marker in the 89th minute as the Revolution beat visiting New York City FC 2-0.

The victory gave New England the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and eliminated Chicago, Orlando and Montreal from post-season contention.

With one week remaining in the 2019 MLS campaign, NYCFC has sealed the top East spot with defending champion Atlanta United ahead of Philadelphia for second on goal difference.

DC United ranks fourth in the East after a goal-less draw with the New York Red Bulls but could still be overtaken by the Bulls or Toronto in the final game and the Revs still able to move up a spot or two in the last week.

Real Salt Lake edged visiting Houston 2-1 on Venezuelan striker Jefferson Savarino's goal in the 75th minute.

Corey Baird put Real on top in the opening seconds but the Dynamo equalized on Argentine striker Tomas Martinez's goal in the 32nd minute.

Los Angeles FC has clinched the best record in MLS this season and the top spot in the Western Conference but Real Salt Lake has a chance to move up.

Minnesota and Seattle, both on 53 points, meet next week to settle second place with the Los Angeles Galaxy fourth and Real Salt Lake fifth.

Portland ranks sixth in the West on 46 points after drawing Kansas City 2-2, the Timbers one ahead of FC Dallas in the final playoff position.

Chasing from the outside are San Jose on 44 points after a 1-0 loss to Seattle and the Colorado Rapids on 42 points after a 3-0 win over Dallas.

San Jose will visit Portland next Sunday on the final day of the season while Dallas hosts Kansas City and Colorado visits LAFC.

The Rapids would need to upset the league's winningest team on the road and have Kansas City beat Dallas by enough combined goals to overcome a minus-five goal differential with the Texas club and have San Jose lost to Portland as well to reach the playoffs.