In LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Sporting KC took outright control of the Eastern Conference thanks to a win over third-placed Columbus.
C.J. Sapong rewarded his coach's decision to start him by winning a penalty in the early going. Chad Marshall hacked down the rookie and Kei Kamara dispatched the PK to open the scoring.
The Crew responded before the halftime break. Robbie Rogers made a propulsive run through the midfield and laid off the ball to Emilio Renteria. The Venezuelan striker uncorked from distance and the ball skimmed smoothly into the net. Rogers now has seven assists in 2011 and Renteria has seven goals.
A Julius James own goal in the second half gave all three points to Sporting KC. The play originated from a Matt Besler throw-in, the fifth time this season Sporting KC has scored from a Besler throw.
With the win, Kansas City moves top of the East for the first time since April 2009.