After a lengthy delay due to lightning, Will Johnson emerged with the lone goal to lift Real Salt Lake to a 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday and pile more pressure on D.C. United.
With the loss, D.C. (12-10-5) slips to fifth place in the Eastern Conference on 41 points through 27 games. United could find themselves outside of the playoff window by the end of the weekend should the Chicago Fire pick up a result against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
Dwayne De Rosario came within inches of giving D.C. the lead in the 28th minute when his rocket from distance was tipped onto the post by Nick Rimando.
Real Salt Lake made the visitors rue that near-goal shortly after halftime as a deflected cross was headed home by Johnson in the 49th minute.
The result helps Real Salt Lake (14-10-4) solidify second place in the West with 46 points on the season, snapping a four-game winless run in the process.
Salt Lake returns to action with a trip to BBVA Compass Stadium to face Houston on Thursday. United will enjoy a short layoff, playing its next match on September 15 against the New England Revolution.