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Minnesota, Salt Lake, Orlando and Cincinnati reach MLS playoffs

Nashville’s German striker Hany Mukhtar won Major League Soccer’s Golden Boot for the 2022 season with a league-best 23 goals

David Berding

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Real Salt Lake, Minnesota United, FC Cincinnati and Orlando City grabbed the Major League Soccer playoff spots on Sunday with victories on the final day of the regular season.

The table was settled with Los Angeles FC winning the regular season crown and the Western Conference title at 21-9 with four draws for 67 points.

It was the same total as Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia, who lost the overall title in a tiebreaker with the most wins after a 19-5-10 campaign that s ended with a 4-0 shutout for Toronto.

LAFC ended the regular season with a 1-0 home loss to Nashville.

Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar won the MLS Golden Boot as the season’s top scorer, with the German striker scoring 23 during the campaign.

Playoff chases came down to the final decision day matches, with Cincinnati securing a spot as Brazil forward Brenner Souza da Silva’s hat-trick propelled a 5-2 triumph at MLS doormat DC United.

Derrick Etienne’s 38th-minute goal gave Columbus the lead in Orlando, but Brazilian midfielder Junior Urso equalized in the 56th minute and Uruguayan Fecundo Torres scored the winning penalty in the 86th minute to carry Orlando City to victory and the final berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs by two. crew points.

In the West, Minnesota grabbed the sixth seed with a 2-0 win at home over Vancouver thanks to goals from Argentine forward Franco Fragapane in the 17th minute and Mexico’s Jonathan Gonzalez in the 77th. .

In Salt Lake City, Real earned goals from Venezuelan Jefferson Savarino and Americans Rubio Mendez and Bode Hidalgo as they beat Portland 3-1 for the final Western Conference spot.

The MLS playoffs begin next Saturday.

In the East, Philadelphia will have a first-round bye to the conference semifinals, where the union will meet either Cincinnati or the New York Red Bulls.

The East’s other first-round games send Inter Miami against New York and Orlando against Montreal.

In the West, LAFC gets the bye to the conference semifinals and a date against Nashville or the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Other West first-round games find Dallas facing Minnesota and Austin facing Real Salt Lake.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion