Conor Doyle’s thunderous goal in the 73rd minute Wednesday lifted MLS front-runner D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire before 11,833 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

In the first of five straight away matches, United (10-5-4) extended its Eastern Conference lead to 10 points over New England and its Supporters’ Shield advantage to five over Seattle and Vancouver.

The victory was United’s first at Chicago in six years. Both of Doyle’s goals this season have come against the last-place Fire (4-9-2).

This one was a one-timer struck with venom from 25 yards that took a slight deflection on its way into the upper left corner of the net.

“It just popped out nicely at the top of the box and I was able to strike it clean and it kind of flew in,” Doyle said.

“He is one of the best finishers on our team at practice,” Coach Ben Olsen said. “We’re asking him to get more shots in the games and be more of an offensive threat. We know he has the ability to hit a ball like that. I’ll have to look at it again, but live, it was a pretty nice goal.”

With the congested schedule, which resumes Saturday at Toronto, Olsen mixed and matched regulars and reserves. Seven selections have started fewer than half of the regular season matches, including Doyle (seven).

Sean Franklin (Achilles’ tendon), Chris Pontius (calf) and Michael Farfan (hamstring) did not travel because of injuries. Chris Korb was rested. Davy Arnaud served a yellow card suspension.

DCU: Hamid; Mishu, Opare, Boswell, Birnbaum; Doyle (Kitchen 80th), Halsti, Silva (Espindola 70th), Coria (DeLeon 63rd); Aguilar, Arrieta. Unused subs: Dykstra, Kemp, Jeffrey, Rolfe.

Next: at Toronto FC on Saturday, 5 p.m. ET (Comcast SportsNet).

TFC (7-6-1) is 4-1-1 in the past six outings and fourth in the Eastern Conference despite playing several fewer matches than most other clubs.

Following the Toronto trip, United will play a U.S. Open Cup round-of-16 match at Philadelphia next Tuesday, then visit Seattle on July 3.

Doyle goal video: