Eddie Johnson turned in his most effective, dynamic turn as DC United’s star with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 home win over Chivas USA.
A second penalty kick goal for Johnson in as many weeks gave him just his third goal of the season.
DC United now has more points-per-game than the East’s first place team, Sporting KC, and would jump into first place by winning its game-in-hand.
Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres scored a 84th minute penalty for Chivas USA’s only goal after Steve Birnbaum took down Mauro Rosales for a suspect PK call.
Chivas USA missed a chance to leapfrog the Portland Timbers, but will stay in eighth place with the loss. The Goats are one point behind Portland with a game-in-hand of their own.
The DC United PK goal came after Oswaldo Minda put a hard barge into Chris Rolfe just inside the 18. It was a silly foul that turned into a deficit for the Goats.
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Johnson nearly had two goals as he put the half’s second-best chance solidly off the crossbar in the 42nd minute.
The crossbar bailed out Chivas USA defender Eriq Zavaleta in the second minute of first half stoppage time when his strong backwards header clanked fortuitously off the bar.
DC United doubled its advantage in the 59th minute, when Eddie Johnson’s headed down a free kick just inside the 18. Perry Kitchen first-touched a left-footed shot into the corner of the net for a good-looking goal.
Luis Silva finished the scoring, much to the consternation of Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy, but curling the ball around the netminder with nary a defender near him. Chris Korb picked up the assist.