Seattle Sounders jumped into third in the West with a 2-1 win over Toronto FC and Didier Drogba opened his MLS account with a hat-trick.
Clint Dempsey’s late strike saw the Sounders notch consecutive league wins, taking them above FC Dallas in the Western Conference standings on games won.
After a run of nine losses in 11 league matches, Seattle have now won three of their past four in MLS to surge up the table with just six games left before the play-offs.
Dempsey – in his first Sounders appearance in over a month – was reunited with partner in crime Obafemi Martins on Saturday, and the strike duo were critical to Seattle’s win at CenturyLink Field.
In the sixth minute, Dempsey delicately chipped the ball over Toronto’s defence to Martins, who finished his one-on-one opportunity into the bottom corner.
Toronto levelled the match thanks to Eriq Zavaleta’s 59th-minute header but Dempsey would strike the winner with 13 minutes remaining, finishing off after Martins’ initial
solo effort was saved.
Seattle (41 points) leapfrogged Dallas (41), Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers (both 40) to sit behind Vancouver Whitecaps (45) and LA Galaxy (46) in the Western Conference.
In Montreal, Drogba was the hero in just his second appearance for the hometown Impact, scoring twice in the final half-hour to cap off a 4-3 triumph over Chicago Fire.
Drogba’s first Impact goal put his side ahead, as he cleverly controlled a cross from the right, rolled off his opponent and poked the ball home.
After a flurry of goals either side of the break saw Chicago lead 3-2, Drogba levelled the match just following the hour mark with a left-foot drive, while the former Chelsea striker completed a thrilling contest with a close-range header after his initial volley was saved by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The victory took Montreal into the play-off spots in the Eastern Conference with 31 points, six adrift of fifth-placed Toronto.
In other results, a late brace from Conor Casey saw Philadelphia Union win 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes and New England Revolution cruised past Orlando City 3-0.