Real Salt Lake and Orlando City both claimed Decision Day victories to book their spots in the 2022 MLS playoffs on a dramatic final day of the regular season.

RSL moved above Portland Timbers into the last playoffs spot in the Western Conference with their 3-1 victory, while Orlando achieved the same feat in the east after beating Columbus Crew 2-1 after a late penalty.

Pablo Mastroeni's RSL will take on two seed Austin in the first round of the MLS playoffs, navigating their way past Portland who started the day in sixth spot, but dropped to eighth, with Minnesota United also qualifying with their 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps.

Jefferson Savarino settled any nerves for RSL, who had claimed only three wins from their past 17 games, by curling in a 19th-minute opener before Rubio Rubin's deflected shot doubled their lead in the 48th minute.

Bode Hidalgo sealed RSL's playoffs spot with a classy finish in the 82nd minute, with Dairon Asprilla scoring a late consolation for the Timbers.

Minnesota, who will take on Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, got their win after Franco Fragapane's low 17th-minute drive. Jonathon Gonzalez added a second with a left-foot volley in the 77th minute to seal the Loons' spot.

Hany Mukhtar was confirmed as the MLS Golden Boot winner with 23 goals, although he did not score as Nashville locked in the five seed with a 1-0 win over Supporters Shield winners LAFC.

Teal Bunbury scored the only goal in the 53rd minute, with Nashville to face LA Galaxy in the playoffs. Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 3-1 with Riqui Puig and Javier Hernandez among the scorers.

Facundo Torres converted an 84th-minute spot kick to send Orlando into the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Crew. The Lions will take on Eastern Conference two seed Montreal.

Columbus came into the game one point ahead of Orlando and had gone ahead through Derick Etienne in the 38th minute.

Junior Urso leveled for Orlando in the 56th minute before Milos Degenek's handball led to Torres' decisive penalty, condemning the Crew to missing the playoffs.

Cincinnati clinched their spot in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, leapfrogging up into the five seed slot, with their 5-2 win at struggling DC United.

Brenner hit a hat-trick for Cincy, who will take on New York Red Bulls in the playoffs. The Red Bulls won 2-0 over Charlotte after Elias Manoel's double to secure the four seed.

Inter Miami lost 3-1 at home to Montreal, meaning Phil Neville's side slipped to the six seed and will take on reigning MLS Cup champions New York City. City beat Atlanta United 2-1 to clinch the three seed.

In other games, Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes drew 2-2, Chicago Fire drew 1-1 with New England and Austin and Colorado Rapids ended 1-1 after Diego Rubio's late equalizer for the visitors.

Eastern Conference winners Philadelphia Union thrashed Toronto 4-0 with Daniel Gazdag netting a hat-trick, while Western Conference three seed Dallas got past Sporting KC 2-1.

LAFC secured the Supporters' Shield for the second time in four years with Sunday's 2-1 win at Portland Timbers after Denis Bouanga's 95th-minute winner.

The Californian club capitalized on Philadelphia Union's 4-0 loss to Charlotte on Saturday, with Sunday's win moving them three points clear with one game to play. The MLS uses most wins as the first tiebreak if points are equal, with LAFC (21) ahead of Union (18).

Bouanga's maiden goal for LAFC came deep into second-half stoppage time and was the moment that clinched silverware, with the Gabon international jinking into the box before firing home a low shot.

Carlos Vela had a goalbound shot cleared off the line by Claudio Bravo in the 33rd minute, but the Mexican would not be denied with a curling left-foot strike from the edge of the box in the 51st minute.

Dairon Asprilla equalized with a powerful header from Bravo's 81st-minute cross, but Bouanga had the decisive intervention to clinch the Supporters' Shield for the visitors.

LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said: "These type of emotional endings in games seem to be a habit in this league, not quite sure why. We're ecstatic. We had a goal this year and we've achieved the first one."

Portland's loss meant Nashville clinched a playoffs spot for the third straight year despite losing 2-1 at home to lowly Houston Dynamo, for whom Sebastian Ferreira scored a double.

Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 at Sporting KC, confirming they will miss the playoffs for the first time in their 13-year history, marking the end of an era.

Reigning MLS Cup winners New York City made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 home victory over Orlando City, who are hanging on for a playoffs spot.

Sporting Kansas City treated their home fans to an impressive 4-1 upset win against Minnesota United on Saturday, with William Agada netting a brace on his birthday.

Against the Western Conference's fourth-placed side in Minnesota, 12th-placed Sporting closed the first half in style, with three goals in the space of 15 minutes.

The first was courtesy of a friendly bounce, with a hard, low cross in the 31st minute being deflected by the Minnesota goalkeeper straight off the legs of centre-back Michael Boxall and into the back of the net for an own goal.

Johnny Russell then hit the post in the 41st minute, but was able to track down the rebound and dish one off for Erik Thommy in the box, who sidestepped a challenge before firing home Sporting's second goal.

Capping off a terrific first half, Ben Sweat whipped in a dangerous ball in the 45th minute for Agada to meet with his head, sending his side into the sheds leading 3-0.

Mender Garcia Torres was able to peg one back for Minnesota in the 57th minute, but Agada would put the game to bed with his second goal in the 81st, tapping in a smart low cross from Daniel Salloi.

Earlier in the day, in a battle between two of the Eastern Conference's top four teams, New York City won their local Hudson River Derby against New York Red Bulls 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.

The opening goal came just 50 seconds into the contest, when a corner was expertly flicked on by Santiago Rodriguez, giving defender Alexander Callens an easy close-range header.

City doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, and it was again the result of a well-worked corner, this time with Rodriguez on the receiving end of a floated ball that he was able to control and bring down before sliding it past the keeper.

It was a match bereft of chances in open play, as City finished with just 0.60 expected goals, while the Red Bulls had 0.71.

In a match with similarly few goal scoring opportunities, the top-ranked Philadelphia Union were the ones holding on for a point in their 0-0 draw away against non-playoff side Atlanta United.

Philadelphia could only muster 0.16 expected goals, while Atlanta United controlled 60 per cent of the possession and won the shot count 16-5, finishing with 1.30 expected goals.

Showing off some excellent finishing, Orlando City defied their 0.95 expected goals to hammer Toronto FC 4-0, netting two goals in each half.

The East's second-placed team, CF Montreal, were good enough to leave their away fixture against the New England Revolution with a 1-0 win, with Alistair Johnson finding the winner 72 minutes in.

Charlotte conceded goals in the third and 30th minutes to fall behind early against the Chicago Fire, but they rallied back and scored in the 68th and 76th to tie things, before stealing the points with a 96th-minute winner.

The league's top goalscorer Hany Mukhtar scored his 23rd of the season as he helped Nashville take a 1-1 draw on the road against Austin, while Cincinnati strengthened their playoff position with a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.

In the late window, the Vancouver Whitecaps rode two quick strikes in the first half to a 2-1 home win against the Seattle Sounders, while Chicharito was one of four Los Angeles Galaxy goal scorers in their 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids, and FC Dallas secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw with 10 men against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Gonzalo Higuain netted a double to keep Inter Miami's playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew that ended their three-game losing streak on Tuesday.

In a game halted at half-time for a lengthy period due to a weather delay, Higuain struck either side of the break to collect three points that puts Inter up to eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the seventh-placed Crew.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid and Juventus forward opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a first-time finish on a fast break after Ariel Lassiter's pass.

Cucho Hernandez equalised for Columbus with a bouncing header in the 41st minute from Steven Moreira's cross.

The half-time delayed lasted more than two hours, with the second half commencing at 11:35pm local time, with Higuain having a good chance saved by Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room in the 54th minute.

The Argentine got the winner for Phil Neville's side in the 82nd minute with an angled left-foot finish beating Room at his near post from Alejandro Pozuelo's through-ball.

Montreal remained second in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire, for whom Xherdan Shaqiri netted a brace from the spot.

Kei Kamara scored a double, opening up a 2-0 lead within half an hour for Montreal, setting up the game-deciding goal for Zachary Brault-Guillard too.

New England's playoff hopes took another hit with a poor 3-1 loss away to struggling Houston Dynamo with Fabrice Picault netting a pair for the winners.

Carlos Vela was on the scoresheet as Western Conference leaders LAFC drew 1-1 at Minnesota United, while Sporting KC eased past DC United 3-0.

Javier Hernandez missed another spotkick before Riqui Puig took over penalty duties to net a season-saving 99th-minute equaliser in the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw at Nashville on Saturday.

Nashville had gone ahead in the 28th minute from Hany Mukhtar's penalty but Hernandez was the centre of attention once again.

The former Manchester United forward failed to convert a 97th-minute penalty attempting a Panenka last Sunday against Sporting KC, spurning a hat-trick and winner.

Hernandez stepped up again in the 55th minute after being bundled over by Shaquell Moore but had his low shot tipped around the post by goalkeeper Joel Willis.

With their season on the line, the Galaxy earned a late reprieve after a penalty was awarded for a Walker Zimmerman handball following VAR review, with the defender receiving a second yellow card.

But Riqui Puig grabbed the ball and took the responsibility instead of Hernandez, before firing just beyond Willis' fingertips for the goal.

The result means the Galaxy are winless in three games and sit eighth in the Western Conference on 40 points.

Western Conference leaders LAFC stumbled again, suffering their fourth loss in their past five games with a 2-1 defeat to Dallas.

Jesus Ferreira boosted his claims on a spot in USA's World Cup squad with a double for Dallas, while LAFC were reduced to 10 men after Ryan Hollingshead's 13th-minute red card.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union showed why they are arguably the best team in the MLS with a 5-1 thrashing of Orlando City securing their fifth straight victory.

Lewis Morgan scored a 78th-minute penalty to help New York Red Bulls secure a 2-1 home win over New England to firm up their grip on third in the east.

New York City suffered their seventh defeat from their past nine games, going down 1-0 to Charlotte.

Brenner scored a hat-trick as Cincinnati extended their unbeaten run to nine games, winning 6-0 over San Jose Earthquakes

Thiago Almada fired in a golazo as Atlanta United defeated Toronto 4-2, while Inter Miami slumped to a third straight loss with a 3-1 defeat at Chicago Fire.

Seattle Sounders toppled Austin 3-0, Houston Dynamo and Sporting KC drew 0-0, Portland Timbers edged Minnesota United 1-0, Colorado Rapids beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 and Real Salt Lake and DC United ended goalless.

Los Angeles Galaxy wasted a golden opportunity to bridge the gap between themselves and the Western Conference playoff spots when they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

In front of their home fans, Galaxy got off to flying start when Chicharito got on the end of a terrific ball from Victor Vazquez to put him through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and he made no mistake with his finish hard and low across the goal.

It was Chicharito's 200th club goal of his career, and his 33rd for Galaxy after arriving at the club in 2020.

That would be the only goal of the first half, but a penalty to Sporting in the 67th minute changed the complexion of the contest, with Johnny Russell equalising.

The visiting Kansas City side would have liked their chances of escaping with all three points after Felipe Hernandez gave them the lead in the 76th minute, but there would be another twist in the tale as Galaxy were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes.

Chicharito stepped up to the spot and tucked away his penalty high into the top-left corner of the goal, giving him 14 in 26 games this campaign, and he had a chance to make it 15 when there was another penalty given in stoppage time.

Trying to secure his hattrick and the match, Chicharito opted for the audacious panenka penalty, but was left red-faced as John Pulskamp in the Sporting goals did not flinch, catching it easily.

Elsewhere in California, Los Angeles FC had a much easier time in their 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake to strengthen their position atop the Western Conference standings.

After a scoreless first half, LAFC were dominant after the break, with Ryan Hollingshead finding the back of the net in the 49th minute and Cristian Arango doubling the advantage in the 68th.

Carlos Vela also missed a penalty for the home side in stoppage time, but his side were good value for their win, producing 3.16 expected goals compared to just 0.29 for Salt Lake.

The win moves LAFC nine points clear of the chasing pack in the West, while at the other end of the standings, Houston Dynamo were bumped down to the bottom after a 2-1 loss away against the Seattle Sounders.

It was Houston striking first, with Daniel Steres breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute, and that score would hold until Nouhou Tolo's equaliser in the 59th.

A missed penalty from Nicolas Lodeiro in the 75th minute appeared to be Seattle's wasted chance to secure all three points in front of their home fans, but less than a minute later a terrific cross from Tolo found Fredy Montero at the back post the head in the winner.

With Houston losing again, the San Jose Earthquakes took the opportunity to shed the last-placed tag with a 2-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps, thanks to first half goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Jamiro Monteiro.

Despite only owning 35 per cent of the possession and finishing with 0.36 expected goals, New England Revolution treated their fans to an emphatic 3-0 home win against New York City, with Jon Bell, 17-year-old Noel Buck and Thomas McNamara providing the scores.

In the highest scoring game of the day, CF Montreal came away with a 4-3 win despite two goals from Toronto's Lorenzo Insigne.

The Portland Timbers took advantage of two penalties to defeat Atlanta United 2-1, and DC United fought out the only 0-0 draw of the day against the Colorado Rapids, with Christian Benteke missing a penalty for DC.

Both teams ended up with a red card in the New York Red Bulls' 3-1 home win against Inter Miami on Saturday night, where an early Gonzalo Higuain goal was not enough for the visitors to nab any points against their Eastern Conference foes.

Higuain opened the scoring in the 19th minute with an absolute rocket, firing his direct free kick to the goalkeeper-side of the wall and into the top corner.

While that gave Miami the momentum, it was ripped away 10 minutes later when Alejandro Pozuelo was shown a straight red card, putting the away side on the back foot the rest of the way.

Lewis Morgan's goal in the 43rd minute ensured the teams would head into the break all tied up, and Daniel Edelman made it 2-1 for the Red Bulls just eight minutes into the second half.

A second yellow card to Kyle Duncan turned it into a 10-on-10 match, but 19-year-old substitute Caden Clark was able to give New York some breathing room in the 74th minute, building an eight-point gap between his fourth-placed side and fifth-placed Orlando City in the East standings.

The Red Bulls are still 10 points adrift of the conference-leading Philadelphia Union, who enjoyed a 6-0 smashing of the Colorado Rapids in front of their home fans.

Daniel Gadzag netted a hat-trick, giving him 11 goals in his past nine games, and 16 for the season, which ties him for the second-most in the league.

The one-sided beatdown included a 26-to-five shot count, while Philadelphia also controlled 59 per cent of the possession.

The Houston Dynamo – the worst team in the Western Conference this season – nearly pulled off an upset away from home against third-placed Minnesota, but ultimately went down 2-1.

Houston opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time through Corey Baird, and they held their 1-0 lead until the final stages when an own goal from Fafa Picault tied things up in the 79th minute. Minnesota then stole all three points with Luis Amarilla's 84th-minute winner.

Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew are fighting it out for the fringe playoff sports in the Eastern Conference, and they could not be separated in their 2-2 draw. 

Columbus – who only had 0.43 expected goals in the game, compared to 1.36 for Cincinnati – made it 1-1 in the 74th minute with Derick Etienne's leveller, but Cincinnati took the lead straight back three minutes later through Matt Miazga. Steven Moreira would salvage a point for the Crew with nearly the last touch of the game in the 96th minute.

An Italian one-two punch lifted Toronto to a 2-0 win over Charlotte, with Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernadeschi both striking in the second half.

Montreal received two early goals courtesy of Ismael Kone and Romell Quioto and were able to defend them for a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire, while Sporting Kansas City edged fellow Western Conference cellar-dwellers the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0.

In the late window, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake fought out a 1-1 draw, and Hany Mukhtar grabbed another two assists to help Nashville SC handle the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0. Mukhtar now has 16 goals and 11 assists in 27 appearances.

A first-half brace from Nashville striker Hany Mukhtar propelled his side to a 4-0 home win against FC Dallas in a Western Conference showdown on Sunday.

Less than five minutes into the action, Mukhtar received a pass on the right-hand side of the penalty box and seemingly dribbled himself into too tight of an angle to shoot – but he did just that, rocketing one into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

Mukhtar then turned distributor for Nashville's second goal, playing with his back to the goal and laying one off for debutant Jacob Shaffelburg in the 22nd minute to make a productive start with his new side after arriving from Montreal.

The incredible first half for Mukhtar was capped off with a picture-perfect free kick from the top of the box, expertly curling his shot over the wall into the top-right corner to make it 3-0.

Centre-back David Romney completed the rout with a header from a corner in the 72nd minute, handing the Western Conference's third-placed team a resounding defeat, with no shots on target. With the win, Nashville moved up to sixth.

Earlier in the day, New York City were efficient in front of goal in their 2-0 away win against the Chicago Fire, netting an early goal in each half to take the Soldier Field crowd out of the contest.

Chicago finished with more possession (58 per cent) more shots (10 to eight) and more expected goals (1.09 to 0.82), but none of their 10 shots forced a save from Sean Johnson in the New York goals.

Gabriel Pereira broke the deadlock in the 16th minute after getting on the end of a move authored by Santiago Rodriguez, and Rodriguez was the beneficiary of Pereira's strong pressing work to begin the second half, scooping up a loose ball deep in Chicago's defense and slotting it.

Two goals from William Agada led the way in Sporting Kansas City's 4-1 home win against the Portland Timbers, with two assists from 36-year-old American Graham Zusi coming in the first half.

The Western Conference's bottom team, Kansas City still have the worst goal-difference with 30 scored and 49 against.

In Charlotte, an 89th-minute winner from substitute Tesho Akindele lifted Orlando City to a 2-1 away win. Charlotte could have jumped into the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a victory, but still sit three points behind the Columbus Crew.

Columbus could have added to that buffer when they hosted Atlanta United, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against the 13th-placed strugglers.

After a first-half goal from Atlanta's Santiago Sosa, a quick-fire Cucho double saw Columbus equalise in the 66th minute and take the lead in the 72nd, before Juan Jose Purata finished the scoring for the visitors five minutes later.

Italy international Lorenzo Insigne netted his first goal in the MLS as Toronto won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 over Nashville on Saturday, while Gareth Bale was on the scoresheet again for LAFC.

The 31-year-old winger fired in Toronto's fourth goal to make it 4-2 in the 77th minute with a near-post strike from just outside the box.

Insigne, making his third MLS appearance for Toronto, showed his class to create a pocket of space for himself before opening up his body to fire past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.

The goal headlined an entertaining contest which helped Toronto claim their seventh win of the season as they seek to mount a late-season charge.

Jonathan Osorio rifled Toronto in a 19th-minute lead but Hany Mukhtar's penalty squared it up in the 41st minute. Osorio restored Toronto's lead by tapping in Richie Laryea's low ball across goal, yet Nashville were level by half-time when Teal Bunbury glanced in off the post from a corner.

Filippo Bernardeschi put Toronto up again with an emphatic 54th-minute penalty before Insigne's moment with just under quarter of an hour to go. Walker Zimmerman headed in a late goal from Mukhtar's corner but Nashville could not find an equaliser as Toronto claimed their first road win in 378 days.

Bale, making his fourth appearance for his new club, netted his second MLS goal in LAFC's 4-1 victory against Real Salt Lake.

The Walsh international came on in the 64th minute with LAFC 3-1 up after Cristian Arango's double and added the fourth with a classy solo goal. Bale ran down the right flank, beating away two defenders, before tucking into the box and finding his favoured left foot for a trademark strike.

Cincinnati made a statement with a strong 3-1 home win against Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union.

All three of Cincinnati's goals came in the second half, after Brenner had a first-goal strike disallowed by the VAR. Brandon Vazquez, Brenner and Alvaro Barreal netted for Cincinnati, who move up to sixth, while Paxton Aaronson scored a late consolation for Union.

Under-performing New England snapped their six-game winless run to revive their playoffs hopes with a 3-0 victory at Orlando City.

Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum and Henry Kessler got the goals, with Carles Gil grabbing his 12th assist of the season for the latter's strike.

New York City were unable to capitalise on Philadelphia's loss, going down 3-2 at Columbus Crew, for whom Lucas Zelarayan scored a brace.

Gonzalo Higuain got on the scoresheet as Inter Miami rallied from behind to twice to manage a 2-2 draw at Montreal.

Bottom club DC United held New York Red Bulls to a 0-0 draw, while Chicago Fire made it four wins in five games with a 3-2 victory at Charlotte.

In the west, Javier Hernandez netted a late double but it was not enough for LA Galaxy who went down 4-2 at Sporting KC.

Gyasi Zardes scored a hat-trick as Colorado Rapids edged Minnesota United 4-3, Austin and San Jose Earthquakes drew 3-3 and Portland Timbers and Dallas both scored late in a 1-1 draw.

Gareth Bale is "happy and settled" at Los Angeles FC after a first goal for the club, with the Wales star's comments further hinting at Real Madrid acrimony.

Bale ended his near-decade-long association with another pair of titles in La Liga and the Champions League last term, but once more cut a peripheral figure at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having spent the 2020-21 season back on loan with former club Tottenham, the forward made only 12 appearances last season for Madrid. 

But Bale marked his fresh start in MLS on Saturday in style after coming off the bench for his LAFC debut, striking a typically fine effort to ensure a 2-0 victory against Sporting KC.

"I'm enjoying it here - everybody at the club has made me feel very welcome, and I've settled straight away," he said in his post-match interview.

The Welshman added a possible jibe at his Madrid treatment, following up with: "I think any player will tell you when they feel happy and settled, they start to play their best football."

Cristian Aranga opened the scoring for the visitors at Children's Mercy Park just before the hour mark, before Bale came off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

His low effort secured a third straight win for LAFC, cementing their lead at the top of the Western Conference, as they look to build momentum for an anticipated postseason push.

"Obviously, I think the most important thing is that we won the game, first and foremost," Bale added. "We all knew the first half maybe wasn't good enough but the manager had another great team talk and got us going.

"[It was] nice to come on and grab a goal to help the team get three points. From a personal point of view, it's nice to get off the mark and help the team get three points."

"The transition has been a normal one, We'd be in pre-season now in Europe, so I'm getting my fitness back up quickly.

"The club's doing an amazing job to progress me and not push me too quick. I'm starting to feel better and better, and I'm glad to contribute tonight."

Los Angeles FC momentarily opened up a four-point gap atop the Western Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 2-0 on Saturday.

Gareth Bale came off the bench to score his first goal in the MLS and seal the three points for LAFC, after Cristian Arango's well-taken opener.

With Giorgio Chiellini also starting, Steve Cherundolo's side absorbed pressure after Arango scored in the 56th minute, firing past Tim Melia at his near post with a confident finish on the run.

Bale was able to settle the result in transition for LAFC in the 83rd minute, driving low into the corner after creating separation from Nicolas Isimat-Mirin.

The win puts LAFC four points ahead of second-placed Austin FC in the West, who are still to face New York RB on Sunday, while Nashville and Cincinatti played out a 1-1 draw.

FC Dallas kept their hopes of a top-four finish in the West alive meanwhile, emerging 1-0 victors away to Real Salt Lake, while Minnesota moved to third with their 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo.

The Seattle Sounders are now a point from the playoff spots, overcoming Kelyn Rowe's 47th-minute red card to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-1, while the Portland Timbers beat the SJ Earthquakes with the same result.

Philadelphia Union hold a one-point lead atop the Eastern Conference, with Daniel Gazdag's 39th-minute goal handing them a critical 1-0 win away to Orlando City.

The stingiest defence in the MLS held out to maintain their gap to New York City, who beat Inter Miami 2-0 via goals from Maximiliano Moralez and Heber.

CF Montreal moved back to third, with a Romell Quioto brace handing them a 2-1 win over DC United, while Toronto FC claimed a shock 4-0 win over a ten-man Charlotte FC.

Chicago Fire took advantage to move two points from the playoff spots, with Xherdan Shaqiri helping them to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Columbus Crew and New England Revolution played out a goal-less draw.

 

New York City earned an important win for their season on Sunday, defeating local rivals New York RB to claim the Hudson River Derby on Sunday.

With City and NYRB second and third respectively in the Eastern Conference coming into Sunday's match, the stakes were higher than usual and it reflected in the fine margins the game was played within.

It was fitting the winning goal also reflected that, with NYRB defender Sean Nealis caught square for just a fraction of a second in the 69th minute, as the game grew increasingly tense.

That lapse was enough for Santiago Rodriguez to perfectly weigh a pass over his head for Valentin Castellanos, who ran onto it off his blind side, before finishing first-time past the approaching Carlos Coronel for his MLS-leading 13th goal of the season.

City restored their one-point deficit to the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union with the win, while opening up a critical five-point gap to NYRB in third.

Elsewhere in the East, Atlanta United and Orlando City could only manage a 1-1 draw, while Columbus Crew took full advantage, moving to sixth win a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference, Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale made their debuts for Los Angeles FC as they reclaimed top spot with a 2-1 win over Nashville SC.

Chiellini started while Bale came off the bench but by then, LAFC had already reclaimed the lead via Jose Cifuentes, after Hany Mukhtar cancelled out Cristian Arango's opening goal.

Real Salt Lake took full advantage, moving back into third in the West with a 3-0 win over Sporting KC, while Houston Dynamo claimed a 2-1 victory over the SJ Earthquakes.

In Sunday's final game, the traditional rivals from the NASL and USL in the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers played out a 1-1 draw.

Philadelphia Union maintained top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, securing a 2-1 win away to Inter Miami on Wednesday.

Goals to Daniel Gazdag and Cory Burke handed the Union the three points to put them on 36 for the season, leading the Eastern Conference by a solitary point.

Gazdag's penalty in the 26th minute was critical, because from there the Union could absorb pressure, and the best defence in the MLS were able to grind out another win.

With only 35.7 per cent possession in the second half, their job was simpler after Burke doubled the margin in the 66th minute, heading in Kai Wagner's dead ball at the back post.

In only his second start since Inter's 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo in April, Gonzalo Higuain bagged his third goal of the season – smashing the ball into the top corner from distance on the run, and on his opposite left foot – but it was mere consolation in the 82nd minute.

New York City remain hot on their heels, however, maintaining the one-point gap in the Eastern Conference after claiming a tough 1-0 win away to FC Dallas.

Heber was left with a simple tap-in in the 29th minute after Santiago Rodriguez was able to drive into space from the second ball, and he coolly finished for the eventual three points.

Elsewhere in the East, a Jhon Duran brace handed Chicago Fire a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC, while D.C. United twice equalised in the final 10 minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Columbus Crew.

Cincinnati and Orlando City dropped critical points in the playoff race with respective draws to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Colorado Rapids, while a Ronaldo Cisneros brace gave Atlanta United a big 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, putting them three points behind seventh-placed Charlotte.

Most of the chasing pack in the Western Conference were not able to capitalise on Dallas and RSL's slip-ups, with Minnesota United playing out a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC, while the San Jose Earthquakes scored a 3-2 win away to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nashville SC did capitalise and moved to third in the West though, claiming a 1-0 win at home to the in-form Seattle Sounders.

Hany Mukhtar scored the eventual winner in the 44th minute with the interval beckoning, scoring in transition after Randall Leal snatched the ball and released CJ Sapong.

High-profile debutant Hector Herrera led an inspired fightback for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with his side equalising twice to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

After coming from behind and scoring an injury-time winner last time out in the Texas derby, the Toros hit the lead relatively early via captain Matt Hedges in the 27th minute.

Somewhat overshadowing the derby, Mexico international and recent high-profile signing Hector Herrera made his debut for the Dynamo, and it transformed the match.

Herrera moved to his natural position deeper in midfield upon his introduction, and his quick thinking at the dead ball allowed for Thorleifur Ulfarsson's equaliser in the 69th minute.

Jesus Ferreira scored in the 93rd minute for what appeared to be a winner for Dallas, but Teenage Hadebe scored a second equaliser for the Dynamo in the 111th minute, in what was a heated second half.

The Toros have not won in the MLS since May, bringing the LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Nashville in contention for a home playoff in the Western Conference, despite Real Salt Lake's 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids.

Austin FC moved to second spot in the West, meanwhile, earning a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Sebastian Driussi came off the bench to round out the scoring after a goal and assist from Ethan Finlay in the opening 20 minutes, setting up Felipe Martins.

Portland Timbers were 3-0 winners over the Seattle Sounders, while Charlotte defeated Nashville 4-1. In other inter-conference play, Toronto FC played out a 2-2 draw with the SJ Earthquakes while Sporting KC defeated CF Montreal 2-1. 

New York RB kept top spot in the Eastern Conference, but could only manage a 1-1 draw against a nine-man Cincinnati, following second-half dismissals for Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. Elsewhere in the East, Derrick Etienne scored a double off the bench to give Columbus Crew a 3-2 victory.

New York City moved to within a point of their cross-town rivals and Philadelphia Union, with a Valentin Castellanos brace helping them to a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

In Saturday's final game, a Damion Lowe own-goal in the 92nd minute handed Orlando City the three points, defeating Inter Miami 1-0..

 

New York RB moved to top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 1-0 on Sunday.

Gerhard Stuber's side looked to absorb pressure for the majority of the match and captain Aaron Long put them ahead in the 53rd minute, heading in at the back post after a finely worked corner routine.

Choice became necessity after a VAR review that forced Sean Nealis off in the 73rd minute, but they were able to hold out against a Sporting KC that failed to penetrate in possession.

The win makes for the first time NYRB have managed consecutive wins in the MLS since April, also putting them on 32 points, now two points clear of Philadelphia Union.

The Union were in a similarly dour contest, generating only two shots in the penalty area from open play in a goal-less draw away to Columbus Crew.

The Crew had an opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute, only for Andre Blake to save Pedro Santos' penalty.

New Yoirk City are a further point back on 29 points, after they played out a 2-2 draw at home to Atlanta United, while the New England Revolution and Cincinnati also managed a 2-2 draw.

In the Western Conference meanwhile, Real Salt Lake critically slipped up in a chance to make up ground following LAFC's loss on Saturday, going down 3-2 to Minnesota United.

RSL were down 3-0 at one stage until Jefferson Savarino inspired a dramatic late fightback, scoring and assisting for substitute Anderson Julio within a five-minute span.

It was not enough however, with LAFC maintaining a five-point gap to second-placed Austin FC.

Elsewhere in the West, Nashville and Portland Timbers played out a 2-2 draw, while Houston Dynamo lost 2-1 at home to Charlotte FC.

In Sunday's final game, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 via Benjamin Kikanovic's brace, with his first coming after the Quakes extraordinarily hit the frame of the goal twice in the same passage.

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