Danny Royer lifted the Red Bulls into a 2-0 halftime advantage (Photo courtesy of MLS Media Sources)
HARRISON, N.J. — For the eighth consecutive season, the Red Bulls clinched a spot in the Major League Soccer playoffs Saturday night.
Danny Royer, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Felipe scored goals for the Red Bulls, who dominated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-0, before a capacity crowd of 25,219 at Red Bull Arena.
The sixth-place Red Bulls, whose playoff streak is the third longest in league history, improved to 13-12-7 and 46 points while the Whitecaps (15-11-6, 51), who are in first place in the Western Conference.
New York clinched a spot in the playoffs for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons, the most appearances in MLS during that stretch.
The hosts opened up the scoring in the 33rd minute as Tyler Adams swung a pass from the right side of the 18-yard box to Sacha Kljestan, who continued to the left side of the box to Royer. Royer dribbled into the box and looped his shot to the far post for the 1-0 lead.
As the second half began, Adams began the counter and sent a through ball between two defenders to find a streaking Wright-Phillips. The English striker took the ball all the way into the box and chipped over a diving goalkeeper David Ousted to double New York’s lead in the 58th minute.
Wright-Phillips’ goal was his 17th of the season and ties him with Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti for fifth in 2017. He has recorded at least 17 MLS regular-season goals in his first four full seasons as a Red Bull.
BWP has raised his career MLS regular-season goal total to 86 and across all competition to 98.
Minutes later, New York was again on the attack as Kljestan found himself near the goal line and sent his pass back to the top of the box. With both Wright-Phillips and Felipe coming at the ball, Felipe gained possession and sent a rocket past Ousted for the 3-0 lead in the 72nd minute.