Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was pleased with the performance of the visiting LA Galaxy as his team won 2-1 to move four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
KC went up 2-0 with goals from Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum before Robbie Keane scored in an attempted comeback in which the Irishman also hit the crossbar.
"LA is by far the best team we've faced this year — excellent in transition," Vermes told reporters after the game. "Just a very good team. What was great was that it played out for a very entertaining game, for the fans and obviously for television. Both teams went back and forth constantly, which I think is great for the league as well.
"My hat goes off to them in regards to the way they came to play tonight."
The visitors were less forgiving of their performance, bemoaning a first half that saw Sporting's Benny Feilhaber curl a free kick in at the 10-minute mark.
"We were just outplayed the first half," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. "We played a poor half. The formation was off without Omar (Gonzalez) and injuries, which isn't an excuse. We were just outplayed in the first half."
Veteran Galaxy player Landon Donovan agreed with his coach.
"We were lackadaisical when we started," Donovan said. "They put a lot of pressure on us and came out with a lot of energy, which they always do at home. We didn't do a good job of handling that or dealing with it. They deserved their first goal.
"In the second half we played a lot better. We were in control for a lot of the second half, but giving up a second goal certainly hurt. We did a good job to get back into the game and had a few chances to tie it, but it wasn't enough today."
Sporting has now won its past three games, and is on a six-match unbeaten run with five wins and a draw. The result ends an eight-game winless streak for the playoff-chasing Galaxy.