The Red Bulls signed a crucial 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
They are now in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 1 point ahead of CF Montreal (43 points), which later drew.
The Crew are for their part 11th, 5 points behind the CFM.
Cristian Casseres opened the scoring after just 7 minutes of play for New York on a corner kick.
Miguel Berry replied in the 18th minute. He replaced Gyasi Zardes, who is injured, as a starter.
Sean Nealis, however, gave back the lead to his family at the end of the game (86th), on a help from Patryk Klimala, who had just missed a golden chance.
New York takes a big leap
An hour later, New York City FC topped DC United 6-0.
The NYCFC therefore moved to fifth place in the Eastern Conference when it found itself under the bar giving access to the playoffs before its game today.
DC for its part falls below this bar for the first time since the end of July.
Valentin Castellanos achieved a brace in the victory.
Thiago, Maximiliano Moralez, Alexander Callens and Jesus Medina also scored.
New York had not seen victory in its last six meetings.
Elsewhere in MLS:
Seattle Sounders 1 – Sporting KC 2
Philadelphia Union – Nashville
Chicago Fire 1 – Real Salt Lake 0
Inter Miami 5 – Cincinnati 1
Minnesota 1 – Los Angeles FC 1
Colorado Rapids 2 – Portland Timbers 0
Los Angeles Galaxy – FC Dallas