HARRISON, N.J. – Mike Grella scored in 7 seconds for the fastest goal in MLS history and the New York Red Bulls beat the Philadelphia Union 4-1 on Sunday to earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Grella raced to the ball and attacked the open lane after flat-footed midfielder Michael Lahoud allowed the initial backpass to roll past him. With Steven Vitoria backpedaling, Grella juked left and sent a left-footed shot deflecting off the defender and past goalkeeper Andre Blake. Tim Cahill scored the previous fastest goal at 8 seconds in the Red Bulls’ 3-0 victory over the
Houston Dynamo on Oct. 20, 2013.
Grella also scored in the 17th minute to give New York (17-10-6) a 3-0 lead.
Wright-Phillips added his 16th goal of the season on a right-footed volley in the fourth minute. Kemar Lawrence scored his first MLS goal to make it 4-0 just before the half.
The Red Bulls are tied with FC Dallas in the Supporters’ Shield race for the overall regular-season title with one game left. Next Sunday, New York is at Chicago, and FC Dallas will finish at home against San Jose.
Sebastien Le Toux scored for the Union (9-17-7) in the 55th minute.