Atlanta United missed out on the Supporters’ Shield and a piece of MLS history.
With a chance to achieve both in Sunday’s regular-season finale, the Five Stripes were shellacked by Toronto FC, 4-1, at BMO Field, paving a path for the New York Red Bulls to win the Supporters’ Shield with the most all-time points in a single season (71).
Atlanta finish the regular season with 69 points, tied with 2017 Toronto FC for the second most ever.
Lucas Janson led the way with a pair of goals while Marco Delgado and Sebastian Giovincoscored the others for defending champion TFC, who close a disappointing, injury-plagued season on a high note.
Josef Martinez added to his MLS record with his 31st goal of the season on a 77th-minute penalty kick after Darlington Nagbe was taken down in the box.
But Martinez missed a golden opportunity when he struck the post right before halftime and again in the 60th minute when he was thwarted by TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono.
Atlanta thought they had scored in the 63rd minute but a late flag was shown for offside on Martinez after Julian Gressel banged home a rebound of a Martinez shot. Gressel also blasted a shot off the crossbar seven minutes later.
Toronto had a Justin Morrow goal called back earlier in the second half due to Video Review when Janson was called offside.
Janson got Toronto on the board early, thanks to a turnover and fortunate deflection. TFC doubled their lead in the 21st minute after some clever ballwork from Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio set up Delgado for his second goal of the year.
Giovinco iced the contest and ensured Atlanta’s misery with his 13th goal of the year, just before the whistle blew on the game and the season.