Los Angeles - Amid drama surrounding the absence of Didier
Drogba, the Montreal Impact settled for a 2-2 draw against Toronto on Sunday
that proved enough to secure a Major League Soccer playoff spot.
The Impact announced on their Twitter feed before the game
that Drogba was absent with back trouble.
But coach Mauro Biello confirmed after the match that
reports Drogba demanded to be taken off the 18-man squad after learning he
wouldn't start were true.
"Didier was not selected to start the game," said
Biello. "I spoke with him yesterday. He did not accept to come off the
bench. In the end he did not want to be in the 18. He said that he did not
accept the fact that he was coming off the bench.
"There was tightness in his back, yes, but he was
capable of playing," Biello added of the 38-year-old Ivorian. "The
organization will have to handle this."
Ignacio Piatti scored twice for the Impact, including a
stellar 19th-minute opener in which he won a ball at the top of the area and
fired a screamer past Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin into the top right corner
of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Also read: For every Drogba there are hundreds of West African football hopefuls who struggle
Jozy Altidore equalized in the 51st with a close-range
strike, but Piatti pushed Montreal ahead again four minutes later with a
crisply taken penalty.
An 86th-minute goal from Tosaint Ricketts salvaged the draw
But the result proved enough to secure a playoff berth for
Montreal thanks to the New England Revolution's 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire.
Toronto, already post-season bound, remain in the hunt for a
first-round bye in the MLS Cup playoffs.
In other action on the penultimate Sunday of the regular
season, DC United scored three times before half-time in a 3-1 victory over New
York City FC that saw United book a playoff spot.
Patrick Mullins scored his first goal against his former
club in the 27th minute to give United a 1-0 lead.
Lloyd Sam delivered the low cross that Mullins tapped in,
and Sam's corner four minutes later was seized by Bobby Boswell, who headed it
in from six yards out.
Andoni Iraola handed United a third goal just before
half-time on a poor pass back to Josh Saunders that instead came to Mullins
feet. Mullins slipped it back to Rob Vincent, who scored easily.
David Villa pulled back a goal for City from the penalty
spot in the 72nd after he was tripped in the penalty box.
Carlos Ruiz was the hero in Dallas, his late goal giving FC
Dallas a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders and putting them in the lead for
the Supporters' Shield, awarded to the team with the league's best
Dallas now have 59 points, two more than the Colorado
Rapids, who fell 1-0 to the Portland Timbers, who cling to hopes of a playoff
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