Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 2012 MLS: Kenny Cooper brace leads NYRB

Drew Hallowell

Kenny Cooper moves into second in the Golden Boot race as the Red Bulls all but assure themselves a No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

Kenny Cooper scored a pair of goals and the New York Red Bulls all but clinched the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Philadelphia 3-0 on Saturday. Although he still trails Chris Wondolowski by a record margin, Cooper moved into second place in the Golden Boot race with 18 goals.

Cooper's first goal gave the Red Bulls the early lead, burying a penalty in the 14th minute. Tim Cahill was the one who created it when he took a pass from Joel Lindpere about 16 yards out, won possession of it and was taken down by Carlos Valdes as he wheeled around in an attempt to shoot.

Henry made it 2-0 in the 35th minute, taking a deflection in the offensive third and easily beating Valdes and goalkeeper Zac MacMath with a quality first touch and finish.

Cooper essentially finished it off with a 69th minute goal. On that one, he worked a nice give-and-go with Dax McCarty and received the ball in a wide position on the right. Cooper was able to quickly able to whip around his hips and beat MacMath to the far post.

The win means the Red Bulls will almost certainly avoid the midweek 4-5 game. The only way they would have to play in that game is if the D.C. United-Chicago Fire game ended in an extraordinarily high tie.

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