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Eastern Conference Roundup: Week 26

1. D.C. United – 44 pts. | 3-0 win vs. Montego Bay United (CCL), 3-0 loss at RBNY; this week: BYE
D.C. United were the recipients of a New York Red Bulls offensive barrage, sporting few scoring opportunities of their own, as the Eastern Conference’s first-place team maintains its top standing but not by much. It was the third straight regular-season loss for United, now sitting only two points above New York in the Eastern Conference standings with six regular season matches left to play.

2. New York Red Bulls – 42 pts. | 3-2 loss at Chicago Fire, 3-0 win vs. D.C. United; this week: BYE
After falling to the Chicago Fire earlier in the week, the Red Bulls bounced back against rival D.C. United in commanding fashion. RBNY’s Lloyd Sam scored the game-winning goal in the 33rd minute, followed by a brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips, as the home side continued to dominate United throughout the second half. New York’s offense proved relentless against D.C., as the Red Bulls went on to outshoot United 24-9.

3. Columbus Crew SC – 41 pts. | 2-1 win at NYCFC; this week: vs. FC Dallas
A dominate showing from Federico Higuain helped pave the way for Crew SC’s victory over New York City FC on Saturday afternoon. The Argentine gave Crew SC the lead early on, snapping a header down into the far post for the game’s first goal and providing the assist to Justin Meram for the game-winner in the 83rd minute. The Black & Gold will have their hands full in the coming weeks, as six of its seven remaining opponents currently reside in the top five of their respective conference.

4. Toronto FC – 37 pts. | 2-1 win vs. Montreal Impact; this week: at Seattle Sounders FC
With goals from Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, Toronto extended its unbeaten streak over its rival to six matches. On the downside, Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco left the game early in the second half with an apparent groin injury. With nine matches left, Toronto sits in the fourth seed with 37 points and is on the eve of a hectic two months, which include a stretch of four games in 13 days and a separate span of three games in nine.

5. New England Revolution – 37 pts. | 1-0 win at Philadelphia Union; this week: vs. Orlando City SC
New England’s Diego Fagundez proved to be the difference for the Revs, as the 20-year-old netted the game-winner en route to becoming the youngest player in MLS history to score 25 goals. Four of those goals have come against the Philadelphia Union. With the win on the road, the Revs remain unbeaten in their last five while remaining comfortably above the red line with eight games left to play.

6. Orlando City SC – 29 pts. | 1-1 draw vs. Chicago Fire; this week: at New England Revolution
An own-goal from Chicago’s Eric Gehrig salvaged a point for Orlando City, as the expansion team holds on to a one-point lead for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Lions will look to gain some ground on fifth-place New England and distance themselves from the rest of the playoff-chasing pack when they head to Gillette Stadium this Saturday.

7. Montreal – 28 pts. | 2-1 loss at Toronto FC; this week: vs. Chicago Fire
After suffering defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the second leg of the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship, Montreal headed to Toronto to face another Canadian rival. The Impact lost 2-1 in the “401 Derby” after falling to 10 men thanks to a second yellow shown to defender Laurent Ciman. Being just one point behind Orlando City SC for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Impact are still in favorable standing as the slow start to the 2015 season leaves them with 11 games to play.

8. NYCFC – 28 pts. | 2-1 loss vs. Columbus Crew SC; this week: BYE
A low-bearing strike from Andrew Jacobson marked the lone goal for NYCFC who, despite being winless in four of their last five, remain within striking distance of making a playoff appearance in the club’s inaugural season. After Patrick Mullins chested down a ball to Jacobson’s feet, the midfielder took a quick touch, put his head over the ball and blasted a shot low and near-post for the tying goal. In the end, the defense couldn’t hold after conceding in the 83rd minute as New York lost their second-straight with seven games left to play.

9. Chicago Fire – 27 pts. | 3-2 win vs. RBNY, 1-1 draw at Orlando City SC; this week: at Montreal Impact
Despite being ninth in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Fire still have their name in the mix in what has become a crowded hunt to make the Eastern Conference playoffs. After a 3-2 win over the Red Bulls, the Fire tallied on another point with a draw at Orlando City SC to cap off a much-needed four-point week. In Chicago’s 1-1 draw at OCSC, David Accam earned his team’s lone goal after receiving a swinging ball from the opposite side, cutting in and firing a low near-post shot for his seventh goal of the season.

10. Philadelphia Union – 27 pts. | 1-0 loss vs. New England; this week: at San Jose Earthquakes
After a scoreless first half, the Union conceded in the 51st minute and momentarily ruined their chances of catapulting themselves into a playoff spot. Philadelphia managed only two shots on target while maintaining possession 47 percent. With the playoffs looming, it’ll be an uphill battle for the Union, as five of Philadelphia’s remaining seven games are against teams currently in the top-six seeds of their respective conferences.

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