By Martin Gallagher
The Union’s season is ending, and they are hitting the wall just as the MLC playoffs are upon us.
Ronald Matarrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored and New York City FC beat the Union 2-1 in the regular-season finale.
New York City (18-6-10), the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, earned a first-round bye and will play No. 4 seed Toronto or fifth-seeded D.C. United in the conference semifinals.
The Union (16-11-7) lost three of their last four regular-season games, falling from first to third in the Eastern standings. The Union will host the sixth-seeded New York Red Bulls in the knockout round.
Matarrita opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Valentín Castellanos, at the top of the area, first-timed a pass from Ben Sweat to Matarrita for the finish from near the spot. It was the first goal of the season for the 25-year-old defender.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi chipped an entry from outside the area that deflected off the Union’s Jamiro Monteiro into the goal to make it 2-0 in the 22nd and the Union’s Marco Fabián converted from the spot in the 87th minute.