CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA might be stuck in the Western Conference cellar at the midway point of the season, but they took a positive step Saturday night in their return to league action, kicking off the second half by capitalizing on a lengthy man advantage to sink Real Salt Lake 1-0 at StubHub Center.
Erick “Cubo” Torres netted his 10th goal of the season on a scintillating volley following a long feed from Tony Lochhead, giving the Goats all they would need against the visitors, who played with 10 men for more than 80 minutes after Luke Mulholland was sent off on a straight red card for his studs-up tackle on Martin Rivero in front of referee Kevin Stott.
The Rojiblancos had numerous chances to pull away from undermanned Salt Lake, who were without US national team members Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando, as well as the injured Ned Grabavoy (hip flexor) and Alvaro Saborio (foot). Chivas USA were without the services of two World Cup participants: Marvin Chavez (Honduras) and Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador).
With his 17th career goal, Torres became the league’s all-time leading scorer among Mexican-born players, surpassing Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Despite being up a man, Chivas USA were unable to bury third-place Salt Lake. Mauro Rosales nearly padded Chivas USA’s lead in the 64th minute, but his right-footed shot from close range sailed high of the crossbar. Five minutes later, Leandro Barrera almost linked up with Torres on a breakaway opportunity, but a sliding Chris Schuler denied the golden chance.
In the 86th minute, Carlos Alvarez misfired from point-blank range, eliciting an audible groan from the 5,689 in attendance.
Real Salt Lake pushed for the equalizer, but Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy managed to record his first shutout of the year. Real Salt Lake were blanked for the fourth time this season.
Up next for Chivas USA is a road match against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 2, while Real Salt Lake return home to host the New England Revolution on July 4.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Erick Torres||By far the best player on the pitch. Scored a sensational goal to guide club to victory.|
|2||Joao Plata||Real Salt Lake's lone star on the night. With some help, Plata and 10-men RSL could have stolen a point.|
|3||Mauro Rosales||Solid performance by the skillful, play-making midfielder.|