New York (15-9-9), which has never won an MLS title, clinched a spot in the 10-team playoffs as Columbus lost 3-2 at D.C. United.
San Jose earned home-field advantage throughout the post-season. The Earthquakes also had the best record in 2005, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
Kansas City (17-7-9) extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games.
Before 25,219, a record crowd at 3-season-old Red Bull Arena, New York pressed the defensive-minded visitors.
KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who got his 15th shutout, made a diving save on Dax McCarty's 20-yard, left-footed shot in the 23rd minute, and Kenny Cooper sent the rebound over the crossbar.
Nielsen deflected Cooper's rising shot over the bar in the 41st minute. He raised a hand in the 65th to knock down a 12-yard angled shot by Thierry Henry, then had to prevent an own goal when the ball bounced off a defender.
DYNAMO 3, UNION 1
HOUSTON (AP) — Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis scored in the second half, and the Dynamo clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs.
Houston's victory, coupled with Columbus' 3-2 loss at DC United, means the Dynamo (14-8-11) can finish no worse than fifth in the Eastern Conference and are into the post-season for the sixth time in seven years. Houston extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 games, dating to June 2011.
Philadelphia (10-16-6) had won two in a row.
Garcia put the Dynamo up 2-1 in the 71st minute, taking a pass from Brian Ching, settling it down and blasting one from the top of the arc.
Jack McInerney scored in the 19th minute for the Union.
REVOLUTION 1, FIRE 0
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Diego Fagundez scored in the 17th minute to lead New England to the victory and end a 196-minute scoreless streak for the Revolution.
Fagundez took a pass from Kelyn Rowe and scored from 30 yards.
Bobby Shuttleworth, dressed in pink for breast cancer awareness month, needed to make just one save in his second shutout of the season for New England (8-17-8), which already has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Chicago (17-11-5) already had clinched a playoff berth.
D.C. UNITED 3, CREW 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lewis Neal scored in stoppage time and D.C. United secured its first playoff berth in five seasons.
Marcelo Saragosa and Nick DeLeon also scored for United (17-10-6). The Washington club ran its unbeaten streak to six games and helped eliminate the Crew (14-12-7) from playoff contention.
The win also pushed United's club home unbeaten streak to 16 (12-0-4). United won the last of its four MLS titles in 2004.
Eddie Gaven and Jairo Arrieta each scored their ninth goals of the season for Columbus.
IMPACT 0, TORONTO FC 0
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto FC's winless streak reached 13 games with the scoreless tie in its home finale.
Toronto's last MLS win was a 2-1 victory over Colorado on July 18. It has earned four of a possible 39 points during its lacklustre stretch, going 0-9-4 to drop to 5-20-8 on the season.
Montreal's winless run now stands at five after its third straight draw. It's 0-2-3 since a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Aug. 25.
The Impact (12-15-6) controlled most of the play but could not convert that edge into goals. Marco Di Vaio had two strong chances in stoppage time but his close-range shot hit a defender before a volley bounced high over the Toronto goal.