MLS News: MLS: White hat-trick inspires playoff to hunt for Whitecaps as Montreal hits Atlanta hopes

    The Vancouver Whitecaps upped their MLS playoff chances with a Brian White-inspired 3-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

    White scored a hat-trick as the Whitecaps moved within one point of seventh and final post-season spot in the Western Conference, heading into the final seven games of the regular season.

    A recruit for the New York Red Bulls after the exchange in June, White – who has scored eight goals in his last nine games – opened the scoring in the 26th minute.

    White doubled the lead with a header approaching the hour before completing his first career hat-trick with 17 minutes left, using his head to make it to the end of Ryan Gauld’s corner.

    Montreal beat the other Eastern Conference Atlanta United play-off contenders 2-1 thanks to a brace from Romell Quioto.

    At the start of the match, twelve of Atlanta’s last 15 goals conceded had come in the second half of their games and none of those 15 goals were scored in the first half hour.

    Quioto scored a five-minute brace in the first 10 minutes of the second half to lift Montreal up to fifth place in the east while hitting Atlanta’s post-season chances.

    Atlanta are eighth and out of the playoffs, level on points with Philadelphia Union, seventh, who have played two games less.

    Elsewhere, Orlando City catapulted to third place in the Eastern Conference after Daryl Dike’s 97th-minute goal snatched a 2-1 win over DC United, Red Bulls beat FC Cincinnati 1-0, Austin defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 and Dallas drew 0-0 with Minnesota United in 10 men.

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