Chicago Fire made the most of their clash with lowly DC United in MLS on Friday, crushing the Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers 3-0.
The win took the Fire into the top-five in the East, although they are only one point clear of the Philadelphia Union and two clear of New England Revolution, with the latter sides holding a game in hand.
Chicago were put ahead at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium when Jeff Larentowicz smashed home an effort from the tightest of angles in the 24th minute.
Bakary Soumare quickly doubled the Fire's advantage less than two minutes later, smashing home his first MLS goal after DC failed to adequately clear a well-placed set-piece put in by former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Mike Magee.
A third goal from Quincy Amarikwa from a Dilly Duka cross sealed the rampant result for the visitors.
DC remain rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference table on 15 points, and the loss confirmed they cannot surpass Toronto in ninth.
In the day's other clash, Houston Dynamo climbed above Montreal Impact into third spot in the East courtesy of a 1-0 win at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
The hosts were ahead in the sixth minute, when Ricardo Clark bent a curling effort on his right-foot into the left corner with Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins little chance to keep out the long-range strike.
The Dynamo held onto their lead for the remainder of the match and went one point ahead of the Impact - although Montreal have a game up their sleeve.
|Coach: B. Olsen|
for J. Thorrington 43'
for C. Martin 59'
for C. Doyle 71'
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|