MLS Review: LAFC, Philly and SKC all earn playoff spots

Bob Bradley LAFC MLS 2018

A trio of teams booked their spots in the MLS playoffs on Saturday as LAFC, the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC picked up victories to lock up postseason berths.

LAFC became the fifth expansion team to seal postseason soccer thanks to a 3-0 victory over the lowly Colorado Rapids. The match was headlined by a brace from Adama Diomande, who followed up on a goal from Walker Zimmerman to officially clinch a spot in the postseason.

The victory has LAFC sitting third in the Western Conference, ahead of the Portland Timbers, who picked up a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake to move closer to clinching their own spot. The Timbers' win keeps the team in fourth place.

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Sporting KC, meanwhile, sealed their spot in the postseason once again thanks to a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, but the Galaxy could not hold on as Johnny Russell scored with seven minutes remaining to earn Sporting KC a point.

Peter Vermes' team has now made the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons while the Galaxy are currently miss out for the second year running as they chase Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers for the final three spots.

In the Eastern Conference, the Union will be a part of the playoffs for the third time in club history thanks to a 5-1 beatdown of Minnesota United.

The Union battered the Loons early and often with Corey Burke opening the scoring eight minutes in.

Alejandro Bedoya added a second in the 23rd minute before Fafa Picault, recently added to the U.S. national team roster, scored a brace before halftime. Darwin Quintero pulled one back for the visiting Loons, but Ilsinho put an exclamation point on the win for the hosts.

While three teams confirmed playoff soccer, the reigning champion, Toronto FC, was eliminated from postseason contention following a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. A fourth-minute goal from Russell Teibert put TFC in an early hole, but Jozy Altidore brought the Canadian side back from the penalty spot in the 73rd. Five minutes later, the Whitecaps were back in the lead for good on a finish from Kei Kamara.

Eastern Conference leader Atlanta United kept rolling with a 2-1 win over the struggling New England Revolution. However, it may have come at a price as Miguel Almiron suffered an injury that could keep him out of action through the last few weeks of the regular season.

FC Dallas also kept it rolling via a win over struggling opposition in a 2-0 victory over Orlando City behind goals from Santiago Mosquera and Victor Ulloa. FC Dallas remains atop the West, four points ahead of Sporting KC, while Orlando City has collected just six points since May 6.

The Montreal Impact took a step towards a playoff berth of their own with a 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew. The win keeps the Impact in sixth-place, good for the final playoff spot, although they remain five points behind the Crew and five points ahead of D.C. United, who have three matches in hand.

In the final match of the evening, the New York Red Bulls stayed on Atlanta's heels with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, who remain dead last in the West. Alex Muyl and Bradley Wright-Phillips provided the first half goals while Aaron Long scored after halftime as the Red Bulls collected a third consecutive win.

There was a bit of silver lining for the Quakes, though, as Chris Wondolowski pulled one goal closer to Landon Donovan's all-time recor with an 83rd minute consolation finish.

The strike was Wondolowski's 144th career MLS goal, and leaves him just one shy of Donovan's all-time mark. 

The 35-year-old will have two more matches this season to catch Donovan, with the Earthquakes set to take on the Colorado Rapids and the Seattle Sounders to close out the campaign.