(Photo credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
Alan Velasco scored an equalizer in the first half and FC Dallas picked up another crucial standings point with a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday in Chester, Pa.
FC Dallas (10-10-10, 40 points) fell short of a victory that would have shifted the landscape of the Western Conference playoff race, while Philadelphia (14-8-8, 50 points) eked into third place in the Eastern Conference for now.
Both teams moved to 1-0-4 in their past five matches.
Quinn Sullivan scored for the Union. Andre Blake made three saves for Philadelphia, and Maarten Paes made three for Dallas.
Dallas nearly had a go-ahead goal in the 82nd minute, but substitute Paul Arriola's marker was waved off. Arriola initially was in the 6-yard box, had a header blocked, fell to the ground, recovered and kicked the rebound past Blake. The video-assisted review detected that his hand grazed the ball as he stood up.
Dallas remained in the ninth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the Wednesday result.
In the 25th minute, FC Dallas had a free kick within striking distance of the net, but Blake caught it out of the air. He passed it to Kai Wagner open on the left side to start a Union counterattack, and Wagner's cross to Sullivan perfectly split two defenders.
Sullivan, starting in place of injured forward Julian Carranza, beat Paes in the bottom left corner for his second goal of the year, both coming in the past three matches.
Blake extended to make a save on Velasco in the 35th minute. Dallas kept probing and Velasco got his second chance one minute later, catching the rebound of Paxton Pomykal's blocked shot and burying it in the right side from outside the 18-yard box. It was his third goal of the year.
Paes parried Alejandro Bedoya's header attempt from close range on a Union cross in the 56th minute.
Minutes later, Velasco had a free kick from just outside Philadelphia's box, and it landed on the netting above the crossbar.
--Field Level Media