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CARSON, CA (Saturday, April 21, 2007) - Real Salt Lake (0-1-2, 2 pts.) had no answers on Saturday night for a lightning-fast start by Chivas USA (2-1-0, 6 pts.), who got a pair of goals in the first ten minutes by FW Maykel Galindo and never looked back in running away to a 4-0 victory at The Home Depot Center in Real Salt Lake's 2007 road opener. Chivas USA striker Ante Razov posted a landmark goal, becoming just the third player in MLS history to score 100 goals in regular season play just prior to halftime, while reserve FW Matt Taylor capped the scoring with a minute left in the match. The result went from bad to worse for Real Salt Lake in the second half, when MF Andy Williams suffered a severe injury to his lower right leg during a reckless challenge from Chivas USA MF Sacha Kljestan and had to be carried off the field.
While the match featured three of the League's four all-time leading scorers in RSL's Jason Kreis and Jeff Cunningham and Chivas USA's Razov, it was the unheralded Galindo that put his stamp on the match early by scoring the quickest-ever goal against RSL just 28 seconds in. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando came off his line to play a through ball just outside the penalty area, but Galindo beat him to it and sidestepped the lunging RSL netminder before depositing the ball into the left side netting to give Chivas USA a lightning-quick 1-0 lead. Galindo would strike again in the ninth minute as he raced past RSL DF Jack Stewart and into the right side of the area. The Cuban patiently held the ball while others joined the attack before unleashing a strike from the corner of the six-yard box to give Chivas USA a two-goal advantage before the tenth minute had hit the scoreboard.
A stunned Real Salt Lake started to find its footing in the 13th minute, as Cunningham powered his way to a through ball in the area and forced Chivas USA GK Brad Guzan into a low save at his left post. RSL nearly tallied through MF Carey Talley on the ensuing corner, as he rose at the corner of the six-yard box to put a header on goal that was headed away itself by a Chivas USA defender two yards off the goal line. MF Chris Klein looked to get things going at the half hour mark when he snapped off a shot from just outside the penalty area that sailed a couple feet over the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake would continue to have strong bouts of possession but did not have much to show for it, Kreis's near finish up the gut on a Talley through ball in the 37th minute and a header on the doorstep sent just high in stoppage time by Stewart marking its closest chances. But by the time of Stewart attempt Chivas USA had already pushed the lead to 3-0, as Razov collected his landmark goal in the 43rd minute by spiking down a header from four yards out off a fine service from DF Alex Zotinca. With the goal, Razov joins Kreis (108) and D.C. United's Jaime Moreno (105) as the only players in MLS history to reach the century mark in goals scored.
Halftime saw Real Salt Lake insert Williams into the line-up with the hopes Wednesday's Open Cup hero could spark some similar magic, but rather than a desperate RSL side it was Chivas USA that continued to press the attack, out-shooting RSL 12-6 in the second 45 minutes. It would be Chivas USA DF Francisco Mendoza that received the first clear-cut chance of the half just before the hour struck, as he beat RSL's offside trap for a one-on-one opportunity with Rimando, but his flick curled just wide of the right post. In the 63rd minute, RSL almost found luck on its side when a failed clearance bounced right to Klein 15 yards from goal, but his attempt missed just right of goal.
Mendoza came close again in the 72nd minute with a curling, 20-yard shot that just missed the upper right corner, while MF Amado Guevara's deflected effort from a similar distance nearly skimmed the top of the cross bar a few minutes later. Chivas USA's continuous forays on goal would be interrupted with 15 minutes remaining when Kljestan's tackle from behind resulted in the injury to Williams. The Jamaican midfielder was undergoing x-rays after the match, but no official word on the injury will be available until Sunday.
Chivas USA did not take its foot off the gas in the final 15 minutes, as the home side took nine of its 19 shots during the final quarter-hour. The relentless second half attack result finally paid off for Chivas USA one minute from time, as Taylor saw an initial shot from 12 yards blocked by RSL DF Eddie Pope on the goal line. But Taylor would follow his shot and his rebound attempt would squeak through traffic and inside the right post to finish off the night's scoring.
Real Salt Lake will try to salvage something out of the weekend on Sunday morning, when the team begins its 12-game MLS Reserve Division schedule against its counterparts from Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center at 10:00 a.m. PT (11:00 a.m. MT). After playing three games in eight days, Real Salt Lake will have the next week to recharge its batteries before getting back to League play on April 30, when RSL will host the first-ever Monday night affair in MLS history in the 2007 debut of the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry against the Colorado Rapids at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Chivas USA 4 : 0 Real Salt Lake
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The Home Depot Center - Carson, CA
CHV - Maykel Galindo 1 (Alex Zotinca 1) 1
CHV - Maykel Galindo 2 (Alex Zontinca 2, Sacha Kljestan 2) 9
CHV - Ante Razov 2 (Francisco Mendoza 1, Maykel Galindo 2) 43
CHV - Matt Taylor 1 (unassisted) 89
CHV - Maykel Galindo (caution) 25
CHV - Jesse Marsch (caution) 68
CHV - Sacha Kljestan (caution) 76
Real Salt Lake Line-up (4-4-2): GK-Nick Rimando, D-Chris Lancos (Andy Williams 46) (Atiba Harris 79), D-Eddie Pope, D-Jack Stewart (Chris Brown 72), D-Willis Forko, M-Chris Klein, M-Carey Talley, M-Jason Kreis (Captain), M-Mehdi Ballouchy, M-Freddy Adu, F-Jeff Cunningham.
SHOTS: 12 (Cunningham 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three tied with 1); SAVES: 4 (Rimando 4); FOULS: 7 (Talley 2), CORNER KICKS: 7 (Adu 4); OFFSIDES: 4 (Four tied with 1)
Chivas USA Line-up (4-4-2): GK-Brad Guzan, D-Alex Zotinca (Jason Hernandez 78), D-Claudio Suarez (Captain), D-Lawson Vaughn, D-Jonathan Bornstein, M-Sacha Kljestan, M-Amado Guevara, M-Jesse Marsch, M-Francisco Mendoza, F-Maykel Galindo (Matt Taylor 66), F-Ante Razov (John Cunliffe 65).
SHOTS: 19 (Guevara, Razov 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Taylor 3); SAVES: 2 (Guzan 2); FOULS: 12 (Marsch 3), CORNER KICKS: 4 (Guevara 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Taylor 1)
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, C.J. Morgante
Fourth Official: Abbey Okulaja
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 60 degrees