Reigning MLS champions LA Galaxy continued their surge in the second half of the season, rising above Vancouver Whitecaps into the Western Conference lead.
A double to captain Robbie Keane saw Galaxy come from behind to beat FC Dallas 2-1 on Saturday, taking them a point ahead of Vancouver, who capitulated away to Sporting Kansas City.
Galaxy rose to 43 points, just ahead of the Whitecaps (42) after the latter’s stunning 4-3 loss in Kansas, while Sporting (40) leapfrogged Dallas (38) into third in the West.
LA started their defence of the 2014 MLS Cup with just five wins in the opening 17 games – the first half of the campaign.
Galaxy look to be building towards another serious tilt at silverware, though, having won six of eight matches since – with Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos bolstering Bruce Arena’s squad in mid-season.
In Texas, Arena’s men fell behind to Michael Barrios’ 33rd-minute opener but a header from Keane five minutes after the interval restored parity.
Galaxy then edged ahead in the 56th minute when Keane nodded Dos Santos’ chipped pass into the net.
Dallas hit the back of the net again soon after but Matt Hedges’ effort was correctly ruled out for offside and Galaxy held on for their third win in a row in all competitions.
At Sporting Park, the Whitecaps had looked set for a fourth consecutive victory when Pedro Morales curled in a stunning free-kick with 15 minutes remaining but a goal to Dom Dwyer and a brace from Paulo Nagamura saw the hosts triumph in second-half stoppage time.
Vancouver were cruising at the break after Kekuta Manneh’s first-half brace but Kevin Ellis’ 53rd-minute header gave Sporting some momentum.
Morales restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion only for the Whitecaps to concede three times in the final quarter-hour, with Nagamura hitting the back of the net in the 87th and 94th minutes to turn the match on its head.
Elsewhere, New York Red Bulls stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a 3-0 win over Toronto FC, while New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo played out a scoreless draw.