Red Bulls vs. Fire
Jeff Larentowicz / USA Today Sports Images

Eastern Conference Roundup: Week 28

1. New York Red Bulls – 45 pts. | 3-2 win vs. Chicago; this week: at New England, at Portland
New York mounted a three-goal comeback to defeat Chicago and climb to the top in the Eastern Conference. Sacha Kljestan scored the game winner with a PK in the 71st to put the Red Bulls in pole position in a tightly contested playoff race. With three games in hand over its closest competitors, New York looks to be in good shaped to clinch the East.

2. D.C. United – 45 pts. | 1-1 draw at Colorado Rapids; this week: vs. Crew SC
D.C. United had the chance to clinch the playoffs with a win in Colorado, but had to postpone those plans after tying the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. An 87th-minute goal by defender Steve Birnbaum at least preserved a point for United, which now faces Crew SC in this week’s top matchup in the East.

3. Columbus Crew SC – 44 pts. | 2-1 win at Philadelphia Union; this week: at Crew SC
Thanks to an unstoppable Kei Kamara, Crew SC took a big step towards the playoffs on Saturday night. The striker scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season to lift Crew SC over the Union. The Black & Gold have the opportunity to clinch the playoffs with a win in D.C. if at the same time Orlando City fails to defeat Chicago.

4. New England Revolution – 43 pts. | 3-1 win at Toronto; this week: vs. Red Bulls, at Montreal
A clinical New England side took a 2-0 lead in the first half and withstood Toronto’s comeback attempts after the break to extend its winning streak to five. With the win, New England keeps the pressure high on the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. With one match in hand, the Revs now have the chance to climb into second when they host the Red Bulls midweek.   

5. Toronto FC – 37 pts. | 3-1 loss vs. New England; this week: at New York City FC, vs. Colorado
Toronto controlled most of the action against New England, but found itself down 2-0 thanks to a Damien Perquis own goal and a strike by Diego Fagundez. Robbie Findley’s goal wasn’t enough for Toronto to mount a comeback. The Canadians will face another playoff competitor in New York City midweek before they host the Colorado Rapids Saturday.

6. Montreal Impact – 32 pts. | 0-0 draw at LA Galaxy; this week: at San Jose, vs. New England
Montreal earned a hard-fought point in an entertaining match in Los Angeles on Saturday. The Impact are just above the red line and level in points with Orlando City, but have four matches in hand and the opportunity to extend their lead this week. They will visit the Earthquakes on Wednesday before hosting the Revolution on Saturday.

7. Orlando City SC – 32 pts. | 3-1 win vs. Sporting Kansas City; this week: at Chicago Fire
Orlando City kept its playoffs hopes alive with a big win over Sporting KC. Adrian Winter with a brace and Bryan Rochez scored their first goals for the Lions. Both scored six minutes apart in the second half to break the tie for Orlando’s first win since August 1. The Lions now travel to Chicago for what will be a highly contested Eastern Conference clash.  

8. Philadelphia Union – 30 pts. | 2-1 loss vs. Crew SC; this week: at Houston Dynamo
Philadelphia’s playoff hopes took a big blow on Saturday. The Union were outclassed by Crew SC in the first half, but fought their way back into the match after the break. In the end, they couldn’t get past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark for the equalizer. Philadelphia now travels to Texas in search of much needed three points as the playoff chase continues.

9. New York City FC – 28 pts. | 2-1 loss at FC Dallas; this week: vs. Toronto FC, vs. San Jose
After its third loss in a row, NYCFC’s playoff hopes are waning. In Dallas, New York conceded two goals just before the break and couldn’t find its way back into the match, as Patrick Mullins’ PK in the 70th minute was all the visitors could come up with. NYCFC will now look to get the most out of its two home matches this week.

10. Chicago Fire – 27 pts. | 3-2 loss at Red Bulls; this week: vs. Orlando City
After its third straight loss, Chicago continues to occupy the last spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite leading 2-0 after 26 minutes, the Fire left Red Bull Arena empty-handed and frustrated. Chicago will need to bounce back quickly when it hosts Orlando City, if it wants to keep its remaining playoff hopes alive.

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