With just two games left in the regular season United took a huge leap toward qualifying for the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs after securing a 1-0 win over Toronto FC Wednesday night in front of 18,562 fans at Audi Field.
Wayne Rooney scored his 10th goal of the season off a stunning free kick while Bill Hamid made four saves on his way to his fourth clean sheet of the season.
The victory puts United at 47 points on the season, four ahead of the seventh-place Montreal Impact. A victory on Sunday against New York City FC or a Montreal loss to Toronto will ensure United’s passage to the postseason.
United defender Nick DeLeon made his return to the starting XI for the first time since May 26 and made his presence known early when he forced a save from Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono in the 5th minute. After faking out a defender, DeLeon fired a low shot that almost slipped past him.
Hamid came under pressure in the 11th minute off a Toronto corner. Nick Hagglund rose above his marker and headed the ball with power on net. Hamid quickly reacted to the shot and stopped the ball on the goal line with his feet to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
In the 18th minute, United earned a free kick opportunity about 35 yards from goal. Rooney stepped up and smashed a curled effort that rose above the Toronto wall and curled into the top right corner just past the out stretched hand of Bono for his 10thgoal of the season. The goal tied him with Darren Mattocks for the team lead in goals scored this season.
With Rooney’s 10th finish United now have two double-digit goal scorers on the roster for the first time since 2014 when Fabián Espíndola and Luis Silva accomplished that feat with 11 goals each. Rooney has also now scored at least ten goals in a single season for the 13th time in his illustrious career.
The United backline kept things tidy through the rest of the contest and secured another crucial three points for the Black-and-Red
United will now look to clinch a playoff spot Sunday afternoon against NYCFC at 3 PM ET on WJLA 24/7 News and CW Richmond.