WASHINGTON – Chris Pontius scored in the 39th minute and D.C. United added three second-half goals to beat the Chicago Fire 4-0 on Sunday.
United (15-12-6, 51 points) moved into second place in the East and can secure an automatic berth in the conference semifinals with a win over the Columbus Crew in the regular-season finale next Sunday.
Pontius opened the scoring when he pushed the ball past Chicago’s Jon Busch with a heavy touch and raced behind the goalkeeper to finish in the open net.
Bobby Boswell headed home Fabian Espindola’s corner in the 67th minute, Espindola knocked in a left-footer with the benefit of defender Lovel Palmer’s deflection in the 71st, and Alvaro
Saborio volleyed in a high-arching deflection from point-blank range in the 80th.
The Fire dropped to 8-19-6.