History of Metro playoff clinchers
Cahill vs New England, 2013
September 27, 2019
All the way back in 2010, we looked at the history of Metro playoff clinchers up to that point. Since we've done that, Metro had clinched a playoff berth a perfect ten times in ten seasons. (What happened after the clinch was far from perfect.) So, let's revisit 2010 through 2019!
October 2, 2010: New York 1, Kansas City 0 (3 games left)
Metro needed a win to officially recover from its horrid 2009, and a win they got. Dane Richards scored the only goal early, and Bouna Coundoul played his best game in a Metro uniform, turning away everything the Wiz threw at him.
October 20, 2011: New York 1, Philadelphia 0 (0 games left)
Metro could have clinched a berth in the penultimate game, but lost to Kansas City 2:0, as Thierry Henry was red carded. So it came down to the regular season finale against the Worms, with at least a tie needed for qualification. Once again, it was Richards early with the only goal. Metro defense held Philly to a single shot on goal.
October 20, 2012: DC United 3, Columbus 2 (1 game left)
For the third straight year, Metro faced KC in a potential clincher. For the second straight year, they came up short, earning a 0:0 draw when a win was necessary. On the same day, they got help from the Scum, who beat Columbus, meaning the Crew could no longer catch Metro.
October 5, 2013: New York 2, New England 2 (2 games left)
Somehow, in its first Shield season, Metro only clinched the playoffs with two games left, and they did so in a miraculous fashion. After the Revs got a penalty kick in the 85th following a ball that played off Jamison Olave's chest, Metro tied it SEVEN minutes into injury time. The Revs failed to clear a free kick, and Tim Cahill floated a header over everyone into the net. A tie was enough... two wins later, he Shield was theirs.
October 12, 2014: Houston 1, DC United 3 (2 games left)
Coming into the weekend, Metro needed to beat Toronto and have Houston drop points. The first part came with an easy 3:1 win on Saturday, with Ruben Bover's only Metro goal sandwiching some guys named Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty. A day later, once again the Scum helped, beating Houston 3:1.
September 20, 2015: Portland 0, New York 2 (6 games left)
The second Shield season brought the earliest clinch in team history, with six games left. Metro did so in Portland, dominating the Timbers. Felipe Martins and Damien Perrinelle scored late in the first half as Metro ran off easy winners.
September 24, 2016: New York 1, Montreal 0 (3 games left)
Daniel Royer scored his first Metro goal, and Metro had no problems with Montreal... as they never did at home, until those very playoffs, so let's just move on.
October 7, 2017: New York 3, Vancouver 0 (2 games left)
Metro was mired in a eight-game winless streak (now counting the Open Cup final defeat), but turned it around with an easy win. Royer, BWP, and Felipe scored (you've heard those names before).
September 1, 2018: New England 1, Portland 1 (6 games left)
Metro played its worst game of the season, losing to Montreal 3:0, but got its earliest calendar clinch of the 2000s when Portland tied New England. A comeback tie in DC was followed by five straight wins and the third Shield.
September 21, 2019: Los Angeles 2, Montreal 1 (3 games left)
Metro was due to play the Worms on Sunday, but it got all the results it needed on Saturday, as Orlando, Chicago, and finally Montreal failed. Metro then beat Philly 2:0 for good measure.