Carlos Vela scored a goal either side of half-time as LAFC beat the Seattle Sounders to improve on its league-leading point total in a 4-1 win at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Western Conference leaders were fresh off a first loss of the season after a 1-0 defeat away to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, with the Sounders coming into the match in third place in the West having played two fewer games than the hosts.
The Sounders (5-1-1, 16 points) played their third straight match without forward Raul Ruidiaz (right heel contusion), who shares the team lead in scoring, and his backup Will Bruin didn't make the trip because of a left hamstring strain.
That forced coach Brian Schmetzer to move Jordan Morris up top as the lone forward in Seattle's formation. The Sounders were also without central defender Chad Marshall, who was scratched with right knee inflammation.
Not surprisingly, LAFC was firmly on the front foot throughout the opening minutes and took an early lead when Vela buried a chance past Stefan Frei from a perfect Mark-Anthony Kaye through ball. The strike was Vela's league-leading ninth of the season so far.
A bad giveaway and some shambolic defending put LAFC up two at the break after Eduard Atuesta picked up a loose ball and Seattle's Romain Torres left his feet giving the 21-year-old a clear look at goal, which he promptly blasted past Frei to make it 2-0.
Seattle started the second half brightly with Harry Shipp finishing off a nice team move to halve the deficit, but Vela soon had LAFC back in front by two after picking up an Atuesta through ball, rounding Frei and chipping into an empty net for his 10th goal in eight matches.
The hosts split open the Sounders defense for a fourth goal soon after when Christian Ramirez played the ball to Kaye, who played it right back to him for the former Minnesota United player to slot home the easiest of finishes to give LAFC a 4-1 lead.
LAFC now sits on 22 points, four ahead of city rivals LA Galaxy, who have two games in hand on their neighbors.