A scoreless draw at Red Bull Arena ended Sporting's chances of overhauling San Jose as the regular-season best.
Jimmy Nielsen was impressive early on, saving on Dax McCarty and Kenny Cooper and commanding his area well.
New York dominated much of the game in front of a partisan home crowd, but was unable to find a breakthrough.
The draw leaves the Red Bulls fourth in the East, and although Sporting retains the conference's top spot, it loses out on regular-season honors, as KC is now unable to catch San Jose.
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