The defending champions are heading home, FC Dallas claimed the Supporters’ Shield and the Seattle Sounders’ second-half revival continued on an eventful final day of the Major League Soccer regular season.
In the Western Conference, there were four teams vying Sunday for the final three playoff spots beneath Dallas, Colorado and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Sounders, who fired coach Sigi Schmid after a disappointing first half, beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 and will face Sporting Kansas City in a knockout match. Sporting beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0.
Salt Lake will face the Galaxy and unretired striker Landon Donovan in the other knockout match. Los Angeles played to a scoreless draw with Dallas. Donovan made his second start since returning last month.
The defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers were eliminated from the playoffs with a 4-1 loss at Vancouver. With the Columbus Crew already eliminated going into the final day, it marked the first time in league history that the finalists from the prior season did not make the playoffs.
Dallas claimed its first Supporters’ Shield for highest point total by finishing 17-8-9 for 60 points. The team is assured homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and for the MLS Cup match if they make it that far.
Colorado, which finished at the bottom of the league last season, missed out on the Shield with a 1-1 draw against Houston. But the Rapids did earn the first-round bye with Dallas.
Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls won the league’s Golden Boot award with 24 regular-season goals. He’s the third player to win the award twice, joining Chris Wondolowski and Jeff Cunningham.
The New York Red Bulls finished in the top spot in the Eastern Conference, three points up on rival New York City FC. Both get opening-round byes.
Toronto FC, which had already claimed a playoff spot, snapped a five-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over Chicago, which was already eliminated.
Toronto will play Philadelphia in a knockout game. The Union fell 0-2 to the Red Bulls but claimed the sixth and final spot in the East because of New England’s 3-2 victory over Montreal. The Revolution fell out of playoff contention despite the win because of goal differential.
The Impact will play D.C. United in the other knockout match. United fell 4-2 on Sunday to Orlando, which was already eliminated.
NYCFC beat the Crew 4-1.
The Whitecaps, already eliminated going into the final game against the Timbers, won the Cascadia Cup. The fan-created trophy goes to the winner of the three-way competition between the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps based on points.
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