Final day drama in the MLS as New York Red Bulls claim play-off spot and LA Galaxy miss out

The final weekend of the MLS regular season provided thrills, drama and heartbreak as clubs battled for a place in the play-offs.

The last of the final 14 play-off spots wasn't confirmed until the final kick of the ball as LA Galaxy were eliminated courtesy of a 3-3 draw.

It was Real Salt Lake who landed the knockout blow with a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time. That one strike allowed Minnesota United to stay in the hunt for the MLS Cup.

When the day began, 11 teams had a chance at the final six spots. When it was all said and done, there was a new top seed in the Western Conference, and the Supporters Shield was lifted by the New England Revolution in front of their home fans.

New York Red Bulls make the play-offs

The Eastern Conference spots were claimed by Atlanta United, Orlando City, and New York Red Bulls on Sunday as the likes of DC United, CF Montreal, and Columbus Crew missed out.

With the right results from other games, Red Bulls only required a draw. Nevertheless, they got off to a great start as Fabio scored in the opening minute of the game in Nashville.

New York Red Bulls forward Fabio (9) moves the ball downfield during the MLS match between the New York Red Bulls and Nashville SC on November 7, 2021,

The hosts, who had already clinched a play-off spot, answered in the 37th minute and the game played to a stalemate the rest of the way.

The Red Bulls will now travel to face Philadelphia in the play-offs next week. The Union beat New York 1-0 in May at home while the teams drew both games played at the Red Bull Arena.

Elsewhere, Atlanta United came from behind to beat FC Cincinnati 2-1. United will now face NYCFC on the road in the first round of post-season. Both teams drew two weeks ago while City won at home back in June.

Nani and Dike head to play-offs with Orlando

Orlando City secured their play-off spot with a 2-0 road win over CF Montreal. The second-half truly belonged to the Lions who scored in the 55th minute and watched Montreal go down to 10 men in the 79th. Daryl Dike immediately punished Montreal with a goal to clinch a playoff spot for Orlando.

As the number six seed, Orlando will head to third-placed Nashville in the first round. All three of their games in 2021 ended in draws, with two of those coming in Nashville.

Colorado Rapids finish top

It has been a dream season for the Colorado Rapids, who were not picked to finish in the top four of the West by most experts when the season began.

Colorado hosted LAFC and won a thrilling 5-2 game that not only saw Rapids overtake Seattle and Sporting Kansas City for the top seed in the West, but it also allowed them to clinch a 2022 CONCACAF Champions League berth.

Colorado Rapids players celebrate goal during the first half

Jonathan Lewis scored the opener and made it 3-0 with his second goal of the game. LAFC cut the lead to 4-2 with 20 minutes to play but their comeback hopes were dashed by Dominique Badji who finished off the three-goal win.

The Rapids will have a first-round bye in the post-season and will have a home-field advantage throughout the Western Conference play-offs.

Real Salt Lake leave it late

Real Salt Lake weren't the only ones snagging a play-off spot. Minnesota United and Vancouver Whitecaps also made it in the Western Conference as LAFC and the Galaxy were left on the outside looking in.

RSL had to win their game at Sporting Kansas City while also getting the right combination of results in other games.

As their match went into stoppage time, it was still scoreless. Five minutes in, Damir Kreilach lifted RSL to a massive win with a volley from right in front of the goal as he redirected a teammate's overhead kick.

Real Salt Lake celebrate their goal during the MLS pro soccer game between Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes on September 15, 2021

Salt Lake will now travel to number two seed Seattle Sounders in the first round. Seattle won at home against RSL in June but lost in Utah in September.

Sporting dropped to third spot with the loss, and they will host sixth seed Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round. Vancouver upset SKC in October at home but lost to Kansas 3-0 in May.

Elsewhere, Minnesota held off the Galaxy despite two goals from Chicharito. The 3-3 draw gets Minnesota the fifth seed placing which will see them go head-to-head with Portland Timbers. Minnesota won both their meetings this season, on the road in June and at home in July.

READ MORE: Moyes showing Manchester United how it's done, as odds are slashed on West Ham making the top four

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