New York Post

Red Bulls start fast to clinch East title


Mike Grella scored the fastest goal in MLS history, and the Red Bulls finished with a 41 rout of Philadelph­ia at Red Bulls Arena to clinch first place in MLS’s Eastern Conference and also secure a berth to next year’s CONCACAF Champions League.

It also set up a climactic regularsea­son finale next Sunday in Chicago, where a Red Bulls win will all but assure them the Supporters’ Shield, only the second trophy in team history.

“In my eyes and my head, all my thoughts are looking forward. That’s the truth. I’m just looking forward to accomplish­ing something, winning something with this team,’’ Grella, who picked off a backpass from the opening kickoff and scored just seven seconds in, told . “We have this opportunit­y and we have to take it now.

“We have this opportunit­y and my eyes are looking forward to the next game and hopefully winning the Supporters Shield and hopefully the [MLS] Cup.”

Bradley WrightPhil­lips doubled the lead less than three minutes later, finishing a corner kick from Sacha Kljestan that had been headed down by Damien Perrinelle.

Grella scored again in the 17th minute, and Kemar Lawrence got his first MLS goal in the 44th minute.

“We knew the ball is still in our court if we could win the games,” goalkeeper Luis Robles said. “We’ve done half the job, now we have to do the second part of it. … There’s a lot on the line, a lot of motivation because of the Shield.’’

The Red Bulls’ 57 points are tied with Dallas for first in MLS, but their leaguebest plus18 goal differenti­al is six ahead of Dallas, at plus12. With a victory in Chicago — a place where they have struggled — the Red Bulls likely would seal the Shield.

“We’re hungry,” coach Jesse Marsch said. “We’re not satisfied, we want more.’’

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