Ross Paule had a hat trick, and the Columbus Crew extended their team-record unbeaten streak to 11 games last night with a 3-1 win over the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy. The Crew, 4-0-7 since June 26, moved a point ahead of the MetroStars atop the Eastern Conference.
Paule put Columbus (8-5-10) ahead in the 26th minute, scoring from a crowd of players in front of the Galaxy goal.
Paule's second goal came 15 minutes later, when he blasted a loose rebound past Los Angeles goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
In the 68th minute, Los Angeles's Arturo Torres was called for a handball inside the Galaxy penalty area, and Paule converted the penalty kick for his first career hat trick.
Paule leads the Crew with seven goals.
Joseph Ngwenya scored for the Galaxy (9-7-8) during first-half stoppage time. His header hit the post and bounced straight back to him in front of an open net. It was Ngwenya's fourth goal of the season.
Fire 3, United 1 -- Kelly Gray had a goal and an assist to lead host Chicago past D.C. and into third place in the Eastern Conference. Chicago (7-10-8) won for the third time in four games and moved 2 points ahead of United.
Rapids 2, Burn 1 -- Nat Borchers scored in the 86th minute to lift host Colorado over Dallas and into second place in the Western Conference. The Rapids (9-7-9) trail Kansas City by 2 points.
Wizards 1, MetroStars 0 -- Josh Wolff scored in the 42d minute to lift host Kansas City over the MetroStars. The Wizards (11-8-5) have a league-best 38 points.