Colorado took advantage of Los Angeles’ absence of international players to win 1-0 at the Galaxy on Saturday and cut the gap between the two teams to a single point.
That result and Seattle’s home win over Chicago saw the Sounders move clear into second place in the Western Conference.
Sporting Kansas City went clear top of the Eastern Conference after a home win against Columbus, while there were also home victories for Dallas over Vancouver and Portland over Toronto.
Colorado’s Edson Buddle scored the sole goal in the 75th minute, rocketing a shot into the roof of the net after Vicente Sanchez robbed Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant of the ball.
The Galaxy — who were without Ireland’s Robbie Keane, Americans Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, as well as Panama’s Jaime Penedo, all on international duty — lost at home for the first time since early May.
Seattle benefited from an own-goal in the 89th minute to beat Chicago 2-1 and bring up their fourth straight win.
Gonzalo Segares ran back toward the goal to clear the ball and instead knocked it into the net.
Lamar Neagle also scored for Seattle while Mike Magee netted for Chicago, who have never beaten the Sounders and lost there for the fourth straight time.
Sporting Kansas City moved three points clear atop the East, ahead of New York and Montreal who were due to play yesterday, with a 3-0 win over Columbus.
Claudio Bieler converted a penalty in the first half for his first goal in nearly two months, while US-born Lebanese international Soony Saad netted in the 41st and C.J. Sapong headed home in the 55th to complete the scoring.
Dallas’ Mauro Diaz and Jair Benitez scored in the final five minutes to lift the hosts to a 3-1 win over Vancouver.
Japanese international Daigo Kobayashi gave Vancouver the lead in the fourth minute, but Je-Vaughn Watson equalized in the eighth.
The game remained deadlocked until the 87th minute when Diaz tapped in a pass from Colombian Fabian Castillo to score from close range. Benitez added another goal with a looping long-range volley that sailed over the head of Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted in the 90th.
Portland’s Kalif Alhassan opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time and the Timbers added three goals in the last 10 minutes to record a 4-0 win over Toronto.
Rodney Wallace, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri all scored in the late flurry to help Portland remain tied with Colorado for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Additional reporting by staff writer