CARSON, Calif. – Álvaro Saborío scored a hat trick as Real Salt Lake rolled past Chivas USA 4-0 at the Home Depot Center Saturday night.
Saborío’s first two goals came in the eighth and 11th minutes and the hosts never recovered; Saborío put the game out of reach in the 65th minute.
RSL (16-11-4) used the points to move into sole possession of second place, three points clear of both Seattle and the LA Galaxy. RSL could stand to gain some help from their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals as Colorado host the Galaxy on Sunday.
Chivas USA (7-16-7), meanwhile, saw their season-long losing streak grow to six games, a dubious streak only equaled once in club history – by the dreadful 2010 side. The club's season-long scoreless streak meanwhile reached 442 minutes.
Real Salt Lake got the show going early, when Fabián Espíndola held the ball on the right flank eight minutes in. Espíndola centered the ball to Javier Morales, who flicked a header on towards the far post. Saborío got in behind Chivas’ defense and buried the ball.
Four minutes later, Espíndola again created. Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy tried to roll a ball to Ante Jazic, but Espíndola raced towards the ball and won it before it reached the Chivas defender. Espíndola ran towards the goal line and found Saborío alone in front of the net and while Saborío’s shot was not clean, it had more than enough juice to find the back of the net.
Chivas tried to claw their way back in but Nick Rimando did not allow it. The RSL 'keeper was called on as Chivas fired some shots on goal. Three of Rimando’s saves came off shots by Miller Bolaños, who tested the RSL goalkeeper on four separate occasions, in the eight, 18th, 36th and 43rd minutes.
Morales nearly gave RSL a three-goal lead in the 56th minute when he slipped past Chivas’ defense. Morales put a shot past Kennedy, who came charging off his line, but defender John Valencia ran back and cleared it off the goal line.
Saborío completed his hat trick in spectacular fashion. Kennedy scrambled to stop Will Johnson from close range but the ball rolled back to Saborío. With his back to the goal, Saborío looked like he would take a touch and send the ball outside of the penalty area; instead, he turned and lifted a ball over Kennedy that hit the underside of the crossbar and went in for the goal.
Paulo Jr. scored a goal in the 81st minute for the game’s final margin.
Chivas USA, still mathematically alive in the playoff race, next head to Vancouver on Wednesday. Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, visit the Galaxy on Oct. 6.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Álvaro Saborío||The Costa Rican was a question mark to play, but he suited up and netted a hat trick.|
|2||Fabián Espíndola||Assisted on two of Saborío's goals and the Paulo Jr. goal, and wreaked havoc on the defense all night.|
|3||Nick Rimando||Real Salt Lake's final line of defense made a number of great stops to preserve the clean sheet.|