Maxime Crepeau notched four saves in his second match since returning from a serious injury to help Los Angeles FC salvage a scoreless draw against host St. Louis City in a Western Conference showdown on Wednesday night.
The draw proved to be enough for first-place St. Louis City (15-10-5, 50 points) to clinch a playoff berth thanks to other Wednesday results. With Austin FC drawing 1-1 against the New York Red Bulls and then Minnesota United losing 4-3 to the Los Angeles Galaxy, St. Louis wrapped up a postseason bid in its first MLS season.
Crepeau fractured his right leg last November during LAFC's championship victory over the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup final. He made a daring dash in an attempt to beat Philadelphia's Cory Burke to a loose ball and was injured in the collision.
Crepeau returned to action on Saturday in a 4-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
His 22nd career MLS shutout only netted LAFC (12-9-8, 44 points) a tie. Los Angeles, which began the night in second place in the West, is 1-3-1 over its past five matches.
St. Louis is winless over its past four matches (0-1-3). It began the night with a six-point lead over LAFC and a seven-point edge on the Seattle Sounders.
LAFC star Denis Bouanga took six shots, but only one was on target. He began the night in a three-way for the MLS lead with 14 goals, but Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar moved to the top by scoring his 15th.
St. Louis had a corner kick right before time was called, but Tim Parker's header was well over the net in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time.
LAFC had a couple strong opportunities just past the midway point of the first half.
Cristian Olivera let loose with a right-footed rocket that smacked off the right goalpost. Bouanga's left-footed follow attempt was wide left of the net.
One minute later, Bouanga sent a close-range right-footed blast over the net.
St. Louis' best chance in the first half came in the ninth minute when Eduard Lowen's right-footed shot was stopped by Crepeau.
--Field Level Media
- Rubiel Vazquez
|St. Louis CITY SC||34||17||5||12||+17||56|
|Seattle Sounders FC||34||14||11||9||+9||53|
|Houston Dynamo FC||34||14||9||11||+13||51|
|Real Salt Lake||34||14||8||12||-2||50|
|Sporting Kansas City||34||12||8||14||-3||44|
|San Jose Earthquakes||34||10||14||10||-4||44|
|Minnesota United FC||34||10||11||13||-5||41|