Red Bulls secures play-off spot

The New York Red Bulls (8-7-15, 36 pts.) defeated the Portland Timbers, 2-0, at Red Bull Arena last Saturday night. The win gave New York sole possession of the last wild card playoff spot with still four games to play. Both teams were deadlocked on points for this final berth.

Jamaican international Dane Richards, in the 21st minute, used his speed and dribbling skills to go past the Timbers (10-13-7) backline down the left side and scored with a low, hard shot in the far corner. Sitting on a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute, Thierry Henri’s shot off a corner kick was redirected by Timbers’ player Kalif Alhassan’s hand and New York was awarded a penalty kick. Luke Rodgers completed the penalty for his eighth goal of the season.

Meanwhile, Red Bulls defender and Mexican international Raffael Maquez was suspended by head coach Hans Backe for the game for critizing his teammates after last Wednesday’s loss to Real Salt Lake. The Red Bulls will travel to BMO Field to face FC Dallas on Saturday.

In other MLS games last Saturday, the Eastern Conference leader, the Houston Dynamo, defeated FC Dallas, 1-0, on Geoff Cameron’s goal in the 87th minute; it was Houston’s (10-9-12) first road win this season. FC Dallas is 13-10-7 on the season.

Chad Barrett scored the lone goal in the game to help the Western Conference leader, the Los Angeles Galaxy (17-3-10), to defeat the Columbus Crew (11-11-18), which is winless in its last five games and trails Houston by a point. Barrett, scored off a rebound from a Landon Donovan shot in the 84th minute.

Also in MLS last week, DC United defeated Real Salt Lake, 4-1, the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw; Chivas USA knocked off Toronto FC, 3-0 and the Seattle Sounders set back the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1.

Trinidad’s Jones Out

Kenwyne Jones, Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup captain and a member of Stoke City FC of the English Premier league, will miss his country’s next two World Cup games because of what is described by his club as a slight hamstring injury. Jones is expected to be sidelined for the next two weeks and will miss Trinidad and Tobago’s away game versus Bermuda on Oct. 7, and the home fixture against Barbados on Oct. 11. Jones suffered the injury in the game against Tottenham Hotspur last Tuesday.

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