Diego Valeri scored his fourth goal in four games in the first 10 minutes and the Portland Timbers went on to beat struggling Chivas USA 2-0 on Saturday night.
Rodney Wallace also scored in Portland's third victory at home this season. The win gave Portland (7-7-9) a share of fifth place in the Western Conference with 11 matches left.
Chivas (6-11-5), sitting in last place in the West, has lost four straight after a four-game winning streak.
Earlier this week the focus was on Portland because of the Major League Soccer All-Star game.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter led the All-Stars to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over German power Bayern Munich. L.A. Galaxy forward Landon Donovan scored the winning goal in his record 14th All-Star Game appearance, and the next day announced he was retiring from soccer at the end of this season.
The Timbers had three players on the All-Star roster, but then it was back to business quickly as the team makes the push toward the playoffs.
Coming off a 3-1 loss at the L.A Galaxy last weekend, Portland entered the game in seventh place in the West.
Valeri fooled a pair of defenders and got off a long shot that sailed past the outstretched arms of Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Valeri had the assist on Donovan's goal in the All-Star game.
With seven goals this season, Valeri is the second-leading scorer on the team behind Maximiliano Urruti with eight. Valeri leads the team with eight assists.
Liam Ridgewell thought he had a rebound goal for the Timbers in the 25th minute, but it was ruled offsides.
Portland upped its advantage to 2-0 with Wallace's bouncing goal from atop the box. Wallace danced on the sidelines to celebration his first goal of the season.