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3 Thoughts: Red Bulls move closer to the playoffs

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A 3-1 win over Toronto FC has the Red Bulls on the cusp of the playoffs for the 5th straight season.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Halfway There

The New York Red Bulls are now one step away from clinching playoff spot this weekend. They needed two things, to beat Toronto FC, and for the Houston Dynamo to draw or lose to D.C. United. The Red Bulls took care of their own business with a 3-1 win that wasn't even close as Toronto's lone goal came on a temporary mental lapse. The Houston/D.C. game is tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm (available via MLS Live). Over their last three matches, Houston is 2-1-0 (6 pts) and D.C. is 1-0-2 (5 pts) so a draw is entirely possible, but don't be surprised to see Houston winning at home.

#25

Bradley Wright-Phillips moved one goal closer to tying the MLS single season goal scoring record after he notched his 25th goal to open up the scoring against Toronto FC. It was a true strikers goal as he got on the end of a Kosuke Kimura cross, putting it past Joe Bendik. BWP now has 2 game to notch 2 goals to tie the record of 27 goals and 3 goals to break it. Given that the last two games are against the Columbus Crew (38 goals against) and Sporting Kansas City (37 GA), it's not an easy task.

Reserves Step Up

The Red Bulls were without a lot of regular guys (Luyindula, Miller, Cahill, Oyongo) due to international call-ups and suspension. Ruben Bover and Richard Eckersley were all asked to step in and they managed to do a good job handling the load. Bover's night ended early with an injury, but he notched his first official MLS goal in the 35th minute. Eckersley took a yellow card in the 15th minute on a professional foul, and did have a mental lapse in the 2nd half, but held down the left side well. While Petke will be happy to have his guys back next week (minus Cahill who is suspended), it looks like the subs are stepping up at the right time.