for this game

N.Y. strengthens playoff case with win over L.A.

Oct 5, 2011 - 2:29 AM Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) - Red Bull New York made a statement in its quest for a playoff spot, defeating the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday.

Clinging to the final wild card spot, the Red Bulls move into a tie with the Houston Dynamo for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points apiece from 32 games. The Portland Timbers are next in line in the playoff chase, accumulating 40 points from 31 games.

Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry continued to show why they are one of the most fearsome strike partners in Major League Soccer. Rodgers scored his ninth goal of the season in the opening period, while Henry scored his 14th in the second half.

New York got off the mark in the 32nd minute when a corner kick was headed toward goal by Tim Ream. Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts produced a point- blank save, but Rodgers was on the spot to roof the rebound into the net.

Rodgers had a golden opportunity to double the lead in the 38th minute, hitting the post from close range with only Ricketts to beat.

But Henry eventually provided the insurance goal in the 60th minute, taking a through-ball in the box and chipping a shot over Ricketts as the Galaxy keeper came storming off his line.

Like Rodgers in the first half, Henry nearly nabbed a second goal but instead struck the woodwork. In the 81st minute, the French striker found himself one- on-one with Ricketts, but his curling shot rattled off the far post.

Henry is now tied for the league-lead in scoring with 14 goals on the year, going level with former teammate Dwayne De Rosario of D.C. United.

Los Angeles remains atop the Western Conference with the highest point total in MLS, 64 points, but it failed to clinch the MLS Supporters' Shield, leaving the door open for Seattle Sounders FC. Seattle trails L.A. by seven points and has a game in hand.

Both teams face a brief layoff in league play, with New York (9-7-16) heading to Livestrong Sporting Park to face Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 15 and Los Angeles (18-4-10) hosting local rivals Chivas USA on Oct. 16.