The game in 100 words (or less): If Columbus Crew SC were feeling the pressure of “Decision Day,” the final day of the 2015 MLS season, and the prospect of finishing second in the Eastern Conference, thus earning a knockout round bye, Gregg Berhalter’s side weren’t showing it one bit as they routed previously-second-place D.C. United, by the score of 5-0 on Sunday. With leading goalscorer Kei Kamara suspended for this one, Jack McInerney slotted into the starting 11 and provided Crew SC’s opening goal. It was only 1-0 at halftime, but 35 minutes later it was 5-0 following goals scored by Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay (twice) and Aaron Schoenfeld. The no. 2 seed belongs to Crew SC, who’ll await the results of Wednesday and Thursday’s knockout round games. For United, it’s into the knockout round, where they’ll host the New England Revolution as the fourth seed in the East.
Three moments that mattered
25′ — McInerney bangs one in off the post, 1-0 Crew SC — Mohammed Saeid played Jack McInerney through the United defense, and the striker tasked with replacing Kamara’s 22-goal production slotted a right-footed roller past Bill Hamid, off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.
54′ —Meram beats Hamid for 2-0 — Michael Parkhurst played the long ball over the top, out to the left wing, where Justin Meram chested down, beat Sean Franklin one on one and rolled the ball underneath Hamid.
67′ — Finlay skates past Kemp, makes it 4-0 — By this point, Crew SC were in cruise-control mode, so Ethan Finlay, who had scored a minute earlier, opted for style points as he made it 4-0. He spent Taylor Kemp one way, went the other and slotted past Hamid for an emphatic 4-0 scoreline.
Man of the match: Ethan Finlay
Goalscorers: McInerney (25′), Meram (54′), Finlay (66′, 67′), Schoenfeld (80′)