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Earthquakes, Sounders clinch postseason spots

Looking to relive the glory days of one of the league’s proudest organizations, the San Jose Earthquakes are headed to the postseason for the first time since the franchise was reborn in 2008.

Chris Wondolowski scored two goals as the Earthquakes topped D.C. United 2-0 on Saturday, putting them on the brink of their first postseason berth in three seasons back on the MLS map.

San Jose officially clinched a postseason spot just hours later, when the Kansas City Wizards fell to the Seattle Sounders. The Earthquakes – who won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003 during their first incarnation – are in the seventh spot in the postseason standings, and will learn their playoff fate over the course of their final three games of the regular season.

The Sounders’ win over Kansas City also means the postseason will make another trip to Qwest Field. Goals by Sanna Nyassi and Alvaro Fernandez helped Seattle topple the Wizards, locking down a second straight playoff berth and bumping the Sounders into the sixth spot in the postseason standings, two points ahead of San Jose with two games remaining.

The news wasn’t as good in Chicago , where the Fire were eliminated from the postseason with San Jose’s win. The Fire failed to qualify for the playoffs in their first year under head coach Carlos de los Cobos and will stay home in November for the first time since 2004, and just the second time in franchise history.

Toronto FC will also miss out thanks to San Jose’s win. The Reds – who parted ways with head coach Preki down the stretch of a frustrating second half of the season – have now failed to reach the playoffs in each of their four years in the league.

Only one postseason spot remains, and two MLS original franchises will jockey for it. The Colorado Rapids failed to clinch with a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas on Saturday, but still hold the upper hand against the Wizards in the race for the final spot.

The Wizards need to win all three of their remaining games and the Rapids must lose both of theirs in order to force a tie on points. The Wizards hold the tiebreaker on head-to-head competition, and would advance if the two teams ended the season equal at 42 points.

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