Major League Soccer's playoff picture cleared up, at least a little, with New York's 2-0 victory Thursday night over visiting New England, which gives the Red Bulls the Eastern Conference regular-season title -- just the second in the franchise's 15-year history -- and ensures Columbus the No. 2 spot in the Eastern bracket.
It has no impact on the Galaxy's postseason situation, of course, but gives the teams battling for fourth, fifth and sixth place in the Western Conference a glimpse of what's waiting once Saturday's action is done. New York (15-9-6) will face the sixth-place team in the West, and Columbus (13-8-8), which wraps up its regular season Sunday against Philadelphia, will meet the fifth-place team.
Seattle (14-9-6) is fourth, San Jose (13-9-7) is fifth and Colorado (12-8-9) is sixth, but those positions are interchangeable depending on Saturday's results. (Seattle plays at Houston, San Jose visits Kansas City and Colorado is home against Real Salt Lake.) Seattle also could overtake FC Dallas for third place, but the Hoops can't fall further than fourth.