Fredy Montero scored his 11th goal in the 84th minute and the Seattle Sounders earned a 2-1 win over D.C. United on Saturday night.
James Riley lobbed the ball just inside the box to Montero, who hooked a shot with his right foot to the top right corner of the goal past Josh Wicks.
The expansion Sounders (9-6-10) won for just the second time in their last eight outings.
United (8-6-12) still leads a seven-team race for four wild-card spots after their first home loss since a 3-0 defeat to Chivas USA on Oct. 4, 2008. The clubs in contention are separated by only four points.
The Sounders struck first on Steve Zakuani's goal in the fourth minute, but United drew even when Rodney Wallace scored in the 54th minute.
Wallace tapped the ball to Luciano Emilio as he crossed into the box, and Emilio flipped it back to him, giving Wallace an opening past sliding Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller for his third goal.
Zakuani's fourth goal of the year came when he caught up with a ball from Peter Vegenas just a few steps ahead of Bryan Namoff at the top left corner of the box. Wicks came out to challenge, but Zakuani beat him with a slow-rolling shot to the right.
The match came 10 days after the Sounders (8-6-11) wrested the U.S. Open Cup from United with a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium. That meeting stirred the passions of both teams, with United goalkeeper Wicks getting ejected for stepping on a fallen Montero.
Fans briefly directed a vulgar pregame chant toward the Sounders, but Zakuani sent an abrupt message with his early goal. As he celebrated, he cupped a hand around an ear in a gesture to the crowd.
Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.