MLS roundup: Grella scores twice to lead Red Bulls over Union
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Mike Grella scored in seven seconds for the fastest goal in MLS history and the New York Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union 4–1 on Sunday to earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Grella raced to the ball and attacked the open lane after flat-footed midfielder Michael Lahoud allowed the initial backpass to roll past him. With Steven Vitoria backpedaling, Grella juked left and sent a left-footed shot deflecting off the defender and past goalkeeper Andre Blake. Tim Cahill scored the previous fastest goal at 8 seconds in the Red Bulls’ 3–0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Oct. 20, 2013.
Grella also scored in the 17th minute to give New York (17-10-6) a 3–0 lead.
Wright-Phillips added his 16th goal of the season on a right-footed volley in the fourth minute. Kemar Lawrence scored his first MLS goal to make it 4–0 just before the half.
The Red Bulls are tied with FC Dallas in the Supporters' Shield race for the overall regular-season title with one game left.
Sebastien Le Toux scored for the Union (9-17-7) in the 55th minute.
UNITED 4, FIRE 0
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Pontius scored in the 39th minute and D.C. United added three second-half goals to beat Chicago.
United (15-12-6) moved into second place in the East and can secure an automatic berth in the conference semifinals with a win over Columbus in the regular-season finale.
Pontius opened the scoring when he pushed the ball past Chicago's Jon Busch with a heavy touch and raced behind the goalkeeper to finish in the open net.
Bobby Boswell headed home Fabian Espindola's corner in the 67th minute, Espindola knocked in a left-footer with the benefit of defender Lovel Palmer's deflection in the 71st, and Alvaro Saborio volleyed in a high-arching deflection from point-blank range in the 80th.
The Fire dropped to 8-19-6.
TIMBERS 5, GALAXY 2
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Fanendo Adi scored two second-half goals in Portland's victory over Los Angeles.
The Timbers (14-11-8) scored all five goals in a 25-minute span in the second half and moved into a third-place tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the West. The Galaxy (14-10-9) conceded the most goals at home since Sept. 12, 2009, in a 6–3 loss to FC Dallas.
Adi tied it at one in the 65th minute with a turnaround left-footed strike from the middle of the box. Three minutes later, he converted from the spot to give Portland the lead for good.
Diego Chara netted a leaping header to make it 3–1 in the 74th minute. The Galaxy's Robbie Keane closed the deficit in the 84th, but Darlington Nagbe answered with a breakaway goal 18 seconds after the ensuing kickoff.
Keane gave the Galaxy the early lead in the 36th minute. The Galaxy would have clinched a berth in the conference semifinals with a win.
Maximiliano Urruti capped the scoring in the 90th minute.
SOUNDERS 1, DYNAMO 1, TIE
HOUSTON (AP) — Obafemi Martins scored for Seattle in the 82nd minute and the Sounders eliminated Houston from playoff contention.
The Sounders (14-13-6) extended their undefeated streak to seven games, but missed a chance to clinch off a playoff spot.
The Dynamo (11-13-9) needed a win to stay in the playoff race and Ricardo Clark put them in the lead in the 65th minute. Brad Davis found him wide open near the top of the arc where Clark lined it up and punched a low-skidder back inside the left post.
Martins' tying goal was a reactive header from in front of the goal, redirecting the first bounce off Andreas Ivanschitz's corner.