• A roundup of a wild Wednesday night in MLS, in which the expansion side cemented its first spot in the postseason, and the Fire clinched their return.
By Associated Press
September 27, 2017

A roundup of Wednesday's MLS action. 

Atlanta 3, Philadelphia 0

ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Julian Gressel had a goal and assist and expansion Atlanta United clinched a playoff spot, beating the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Atlanta (15-8-7) is the first expansion team to make the playoffs since Seattle in 2009.

Gressel scored his fourth goal in the 27th minute and assisted on Josef Martinez's 18th in the 33rd minute. It was Gressel ninth assist, one behind the league record for first-year players. Clint Mathis had 10 for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998.

Atlanta was without Miguel Almiron, who suffered a hamstring injury last weekend. After Martinez scored he ran back to the team sideline at midfield and grabbed Almiron's No. 10 jersey and kissed it. Almiron, who is expected to be out at least three weeks, leads the team with 13 assists and is third with nine goals.

Jacob Peterson added his third goal in the 88th minute.

Atlanta is 10-0-2 in its last 12 home games, outscoring opponents 38-9.

Brad Guzan had three saves for his sixth shutout. Atlanta posted its fifth shutout in its last six home matches.

New England (9-13-9) is winless in its last 11 road game.

Orlando 6, New England 1

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Kaka had two goals, Yoshimar Yotun and Dominic Dwyer each had a goal and two assists and struggling Orlando City beat short-handed New England 6-1 on Wednesday night.

Xavier Kouassi was sent off for the Revolution with a red card in the 11th minute after he fouled Seb Hines. Kouassi won the ball, but his follow through went into Hines' legs and the referee went to the video to deem the foul serious.

Yotun then assisted on goals for Antonio Nocerino in the 22nd minute and Hines 10 minutes later. Kaka scored in the 43rd and 77th off assists from Dwyer. Dwyer scored in the 84th minute, and Yotun in the 90th.

Orlando (10-13-8) had just one win in its previous 11 matches. It is 2-4-4 in its last 10 home games.

Lee Nguyen scored his 11th goal on a brilliant free kick in first-half stopped time for New England (11-14-5), which has allowed 28 goals in losing its last eight road games. The Revolution are in eighth place, five points below the line.

Houston 3, LA 3

HOUSTON (AP) — Alberth Elis scored two late goals and the slumping Houston Dynamo rallied for a 3-3 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night.

The Dynamo (10-10-10), who are one point below the playoff line after going 0-3-3 since topping the Western Conference standings on Aug. 12, trailed 3-1 entering the last 10 minutes of regulation.

Hugo Arellano pulled down Elis in the box, leading to a successful penalty kick in the 84th minute. Four minutes later on a third straight corner kick, served by Vicente Sanchez, Elis got his head on the ball for his ninth goal.

The Galaxy (7-17-7), eliminated from playoff contention when Dallas won earlier Wednesday, had lost three straight — two by 4-0 counts — but got on the board quickly. Roman Alessandrini sent a centering ball from the left corner that Adolfo Machado misplayed on an attempted clear and the deflection went off teammate DeMarcus Beasley's chest in the third minute.

Alessandrini picked up his 11th goal in the 12th minute after Ashley Cole stole the ball at midfield.

Tomas Martinez fought off two defenders in the middle of the box to get one back with his first Dynamo goal in the 26th minute. But two minutes into the second half, Bradford Jamieson restored the two-goal lead with his second goal.

NYCFC 1, Montreal 0

MONTREAL (AP) — Jack Harrison scored in the 10th minute and New York City FC held on to beat the Montreal Impact 1-0 on Wednesday night.

The 20-year-old Harrison fired a bouncing ball past Evan Bush into the top corner from a tricky angle for his 10th goal.

NYC FC (16-8-7) is seven points behind MLS-leading Toronto FC with three games remaining.

The Impact (11-14-6) are 1-6-0 in their last seven games They have lost four straight home games for the first time in franchise history.

New York 3, D.C. 3

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Fidel Escobar's own goal in second-half stoppage time gave last-place D.C. United a 3-3 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

United (9-17-5) avoided elimination from playoff contention. New York (12-11-7) had its winless streak extended to seven games.

New York took a 3-2 lead in the 78th after scoring twice in a four-minute span. Tyler Adams sent a loose ball through the legs of two players into the net and Gonzalo Veron scored on a penalty kick.

In the 91st, United's Bruno Miranda had a throw-in headed back to him and his cross was deflected into the net by Escobar at the near post.

The game was tied at 1-all at halftime. Adams scored his first MLS goal in the 19th and United's Zoltan Stieber scored in stoppage time on a deflected free kick.

D.C. United took its first lead in the 70th on Patrick Mullins' calm finish from the penalty spot.

Seattle 3, Vancouver 0

SEATTLE (AP) — Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and two assists and La Liga veteran Victor Rodriguez scored his first MLS goal to help the Seattle Sounders beat the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 on Wednesday night.

The Sounders (12-8-11) rebounded from a 2-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on Saturday that snapped their unbeaten streak at 13 games. Since beating Minnesota on Aug. 20, they were 0-1-4.

Vancouver (14-10-6) was unbeaten in its previous seven games.

Rodriguez, signed Aug. 2 after spending four of the last five seasons in Spain's top league, put Seattle on the board in the 17th minute. He got behind two defenders, took a short pass from Lodeiro into the top of the penalty area restraining arc, and beat goalkeeper David Ousted with a shot into the back right corner. That ended a 202-minute scoring drought for the Sounders.

Lodeiro made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when he broke unmarked into the box, took a pass from Joevin Jones and scored from 8 yards for his fifth of the year. In the 69th, Lodeiro and Clint Dempsey worked a give-and-go for Dempsey's team-leading 12th of the season.

Stefan Frei had his career-high 11th shutout.

Chicago 4, San Jose 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Nemanja Nikolic scored twice in the second half to break Chicago's season goal record with 20 and the Fire beat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Chicago (15-10-6) clinched a playoff spot with the victory and Montreal's loss to New York City. San Jose (11-14-6) lost for the first time at home in eight matches.

Nikolic made it 3-0 in the third minute of the second half to break a tie with Ante Razov for Chicago's goal record. Nikolic added another in the 65th by heading in a ball that deflected off the crossbar.

Nikolic is tied atop the Golden Boot race with Portland's Diego Valeri.

Eighteen-year-old Djordje Mihailovic opened the scoring in the 14th minute with his first MLS goal. In the 40th, Michael de Leeuw volleyed a cross in front of the goal and Luis Solignac headed it home for his seventh goal of the season.

Chris Wondolowski headed in San Jose's goal in the 87th minute, tying him for third in MLS history with Jaime Moreno at 133.

Chicago's Dax McCarty made his 300th MLS regular-season appearance.

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