SEATTLE (AP) — Lamar Neagle scored off of a free kick by Marc Burch midway through the first half to lead the surging Seattle Sounders to their sixth win in seven matches, 1-0 over Chivas USA on Wednesday night.
The Sounders (13-8-4) won their third straight and climbed into a tie with Los Angeles for second place in the Western Conference. Seattle is five points behind league-leading Real Salt Lake, with three games in hand.
Chivas (5-15-7) had its road winless streak extended to 12 (0-9-3).
A hard foul on Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin gave the Sounders a free kick 23 yards up from the goal line on the right side. Burch drove the ball into the penalty area and Neagle, after settling it at the top right corner of the box, turned and drilled a right-footed shot into the far side of the net early in the 24th minute.
It was Neagle’s sixth goal of the season, and goalkeeper Michael Gspurning picked up his third straight shutout and ninth of the year.
The Sounders were without Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson, who are both with the U.S. national team for World Cup qualifying games Friday at Costa Rica and next Tuesday against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.