MLS Review: Sounders, Timbers win big to book playoff spots

The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers recorded resounding wins to clinch MLS playoff spots Sunday.

Reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle crushed FC Dallas 4-0 to climb into third place in the Western Conference.

The Timbers beat D.C. United 4-0 to also secure a spot from the West, while the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City clinched playoff places as well.

In Seattle, the Sounders took a 31st-minute lead through Victor Rodriguez, who finished clinically after being put in by Clint Dempsey.

A quick-fire brace from Will Bruin helped Seattle on their way, the forward putting away a rebound and later a side-footed finish. Lamar Neagle headed in a Nicolas Lodeiro cross to complete the comfortable win in additional time.

Portland cruised past D.C. thanks to a second-half brace from Sebastian Blanco at Providence Park. Diego Valeri scored via a penalty before Alvas Powell curled in a fine effort shortly after halftime.

Blanco made it 3-0 with a curling strike into the top corner on the hour mark before he sealed the victory with one more insurance goal.

Kansas City and Houston are also heading to the playoffs after playing out a 0-0 draw.

The first-place Vancouver Whitecaps were held to a 1-1 draw by the San Jose Earthquakes, who are fighting for the sixth and final spot. Yordy Reyna gave Vancouver a first-half lead before Chris Wondolowski equalized with 13 minutes remaining.

The sixth-place Earthquakes are level on points with seventh-place Dallas, while Real Salt Lake is a point back after going down 1-0 to Colorado Rapids on a Joshua Gatt strike.

The Eastern Conference playoff spots were already secured, with Supporters’ Shield winner Toronto FC edging the Montreal Impact 1-0 thanks to Jozy Altidore’s early tally.

New York City FC went down to New England Revolution 2-1, as Diego Fagundez scored twice before Khiry Shelton pulled one back late.

Nemanja Nikolic pulled clear atop the goalscoring charts with a hat trick in Chicago Fire’s 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union, who scored off an Alejandro Bedoya strike and Johan Kappelhof own goal.

Elsewhere, the New York Red Bulls drew 0-0 with Atlanta United and Ola Kamara scored as Orlando City lost 1-0 to the Columbus Crew in Kaka’s final game for the club.

The LA Galaxy powered past Minnesota United 3-0, meanwhile, on a Romain Alessandrini brace and Jonathan dos Santos strike.

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