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East nearly set as Toronto FC fails miserably in New York, Crew win


Toronto FC could watch their MLS playoff hopes dissipate yet again, as the New York Red Bulls built a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena.

Meanwhile, not too far away, the Columbus Crew came back from a 2-0 deficit to vanquish any hopes Philadelphia had for a playoff berth in a 3-2 decision.

New York dismantled TFC over a half of soccer, with goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, Ruben Bover and Dax McCarty coming between minutes 26 and 44.

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Jonathan Osorio pulled one back in the 55th minute, but the game pretty much dropped into a mix of fighting and bad fouls. As a gentleman I watched the game with said, Dax McCarty is “the smallest bouncer in the world.”

Things exploded between Philadelphia and Columbus after 68 minutes of nothing. The Union took the lead on goals from Danny Cruz and Andrew Wenger, but the Crew poured forth with four minutes unlike any other.

First, Hector Jimenez set up Ethan Finley to make it a 2-1 game in the 78th minute. One minute later, it was Justin Meram picking up a ball from Jairo Arrieta to tie it. Within two minutes, the game was tied.

And then Arrieta turned finisher off Tony Tchani’s work. It finished 3-2.

With all said and done, the Red Bulls are all but in the playoffs on 47 points, while the Crew are close behind at 46 points. Toronto sits at 40, on a sliver of hope, while Philly is out. Houston can still hope beyond hope if they take three points from DC on Sunday, but it feels a bit settled in the East.

Follow @nicholasmendola