Sporting KC downs New York to seal playoff berth

Sporting Kansas City sealed a playoff berth Saturday, and left Red Bull New York clinging to the final spot.

Teal Bunbury and C.J. Sapong scored in the second half against 10-man Red Bull New York, which had Thierry Henry sent off in the first half, and Kansas City moved into a tie atop the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win.

Henry was ejected midway through the opening half for deliberately driving his knee into the head of Sporting's Roger Espinoza while he was on the ground and K.C. took advantage of the extra man to win its regular-season home finale.

Kansas City (12-9-12) has 48 points from 33 games and is tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union entering the final week of the season.

New York (9-8-16) still holds the 10th and last postseason spot, but no longer controls its own destiny, as D.C. United and the Portland Timbers can overtake it in the standings.

Sporting played well early, as Aurelien Collin turned an open header from just 6 yards wide of the left post in the opening minute, before New York countered with a nice chance from Dane Richards that goalie Jimmy Nielsen saved.

Henry, who will be suspended for New York's season finale Thursday against the Union, foolishly handed Kansas City a man advantage near the half-hour mark.

Espinoza and Henry battled for a ball seconds earlier and, after Espinoza fell to the ground, the ex-French international ran directly into the K.C. player and received an immediate red card from referee Kevin Stott.

With a man advantage, and 19,921 fans behind it in the stands, Kansas City was able to take control of the game as Bunbury missed later in the first half and then opened the scoring 12 minutes after the break.

Bunbury bagged his ninth goal of the season off a corner kick that Julio Cesar nodded down to him, and Bunbury fired a volley from inside the area past New York goalie Frank Rost.

Sapong, who came on to replace Omar Bravo in the 73rd, added the second goal in the 74th when Davy Arnaud headed a ball on to him deep in the area and he drove a shot in from the edge of the six-yard box for his fifth of the season.

K.C. had no trouble holding on over the last 15 minutes at Livestrong Sporting Park as it closed its home schedule with its ninth win at the new $200 million stadium.

Kansas City has just three losses in its last 25 matches, and ends the regular season at D.C. United on Oct. 22.