The Crew had no reply for a trio of Kansas City goals as Sporting took the top spot in the East.
Sporting's Benny Feilhaber won a penalty in the sixth minute. Receiving the ball from a short corner, the World Cup veteran dribbled into the box and was tripped by Columbus' Will Trapp. Striker Claudio Bieler stepped up to send Crew goalkeeper Matt Lampson the wrong way and make it 1-0.
It was Bieler's defensive work that caused the next goal. His pressure forced Chad Barson into coughing up the ball in midfield. Paulo Nagamura collected and passed back to Bieler, who picked out Soony Saad to score from the left flank.
Sporting grabbed a third in the 55th minute, when C.J. Sapong flicked in a no-look header from Oriol Rosell's cross.
The Wizards are now three points ahead of Montreal in the race for first seed, but the Impact have a full three games in hand. Columbus is now five points back of the final playoff spot.