New England vs. Sporting KC: The Lions are assured of home-field advantage in MLS Cup playoffs

Brenner scores 3 to beat D.C United, putting Cincinnati in MLS playoffs for first time since 2008

Sporting KC vs. New England Revolution, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer

CARSON CITY, Colorado — In the span of three minutes, Orlando City scored. In the span of three minutes, New England scored.

After more than a month of speculation, a Major League Soccer playoff berth for the first time since 2008 appeared to be within reach.

After an early goal from Orlando’s Keon Daniel, D.C. United pulled within 1-0 against Sporting KC on Saturday night, but it was only a temporary reprieve for the Lions.

Coming in off a 2-2 draw in Kansas City on Saturday, Sporting made a strong statement in the season finale against the Revolution, winning 3-1 on goals from midfielder Jordan Allen, who scored in the 19th minute, and David Guzman, who scored in the 43rd minute.

Coming off a 1-1 tie against NYCFC in Week 12 of MLS, New England went into the final week leading the Eastern Conference with 22 points as Sporting (20) and D.C. (18) were in single-elimination playoff position.

But with a win over D.C. and Sporting’s loss to the Red Bulls on Saturday night, New England enters this week’s action knowing it is assured of home-field advantage in MLS Cup playoffs and will be the first team to play four games at NSC Stadium in a single season.

Sporting had already clinched a playoff berth after a victory over Columbus, but that series ended with a tie on the road at Toronto FC.

But Saturday’s win was Sporting’s fifth consecutive game, and that streak extended to 25 games. It’s tied for the longest ever by any MLS team in a single season.

The Lions also made history in MLS history: Only two teams — the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew — have gone unbeaten since the introduction of MLS in 1996, and both went 25 consecutive games.

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