Justin Braun and Sacha Kljestan scored in a three-minute span late in the second half and Chivas USA clinched a playoff berth with a 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night in Carson, Calif.
Chivas USA (13-9-5), which has 44 points and reached the postseason for the fourth year in a row, also moved into a three-way for first place in the Western Conference with Houston and Los Angeles. Chivas has a match in hand on both the Dynamo and Galaxy, and has three matches remaining.
Seattle Sounders FC, which was tied with Chivas USA going into Saturday, has 41 points and remains in good position to secure one of the league’s four wild-card berths in the playoffs.
The top two teams in each conference qualify for the postseason, along with four wild cards regardless of conference.
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Seattle has the fourth-most points in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Colorado.
The third-place team in the Eastern Conference, New England, has 38 points.
Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton made two saves for his MLS-leading 12th shutout. Thornton moved within one shutout of the single-season club record set by Brad Guzan in 2007.
Crew 1, at Revolution 0: Gino Padula scored a first-half goal as the depleted Columbus Crew clinched first place in the Eastern Conference with a victory in Foxborough, Mass.
The win gave the reigning MLS Cup champion Crew (13-5-10) 49 points — tops in the league — and an insurmountable eight-point lead over second-place Chicago with two matches remaining.
Padula scored in the 36th minute after he launched a 35-yard free kick that skipped through a series of players before it lodged itself into the back of the net.
Columbus played without Chad Marshall due to injury. Frankie Hejduk, Robbie Rogers and Alejandro Moreno all had World Cup qualifier commitments.
Earthquakes 1, Toronto FC 1: Cornell Glen scored an injury-time goal, and the San Jose Earthquakes earned a tie at Toronto.
Glen’s 93rd-minute strike, a powerful volley over the head of former Earthquakes defender Nick Garcia, evened the score as Toronto failed to hold the lead provided by Nana Attakora’s goal in the 47th minute.
Toronto stretched its home unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2).