Chicho Arango carrying RSL into uncharted territory as MLS scoring leader

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Real Salt Lake knew it was getting a goalscorer when signing Chicho Arango almost one year ago, but the former MVP candidate with LAFC has surpassed even the loftiest of expectations so far in his time in Claret and Cobalt.

Arango was a scoring machine during his two years in Los Angeles, scoring 30 goals in 41 games and leading LAFC to an MLS Cup in 2022. Arango said he was reminded of that title game Saturday at America First Field when a new and "beautiful journey" was revealed in a soul-pounding 5-3 win in front of 20,728 fans.

"They're crazy moments when there's nothing left to do but stay mentally strong and focus on the objective," Arango said after the win. "And the objective is to win."

With eight wins in 14 matches and the top spot in the Western Conference, the winning is happening this season for RSL, thanks in large part to Arango's unprecedented rate of scoring goals.

The Colombian striker has 13 goals through 14 games as the MLS Golden Boot leader with 20 games remaining in the season. He is on track to score 31 goals, which would tie him for second place all-time in MLS history for most goals in a season with Josef Martinez in 2018.

Thirty-one goals would also be an RSL single-season record, by a mile. Alvaro Saborio — recognized by many as the greatest striker in club history before Arango's arrival — has the current club record with 19 in 2012, during the height of RSL's glory days as a perennial MLS Cup contender.

Even by the standard Arango set for himself during his two years in Los Angeles, the forward is reaching new heights. He topped out at 16 goals for LAFC in 2022, a number he will reach by June 1 at his current rate.

Arango is taking it all in stride for now and deflecting all praise to his teammates when asked about passing legends like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the Golden Boot race.

"I'm happier about the way we are winning with a strong and positive mentality," Arango said. "Everything I'm doing is thanks to my teammates. Without them none of this would be possible. I'm very motivated and there's nothing left to do but keep working hard."

The ultimate goal is to win another MLS Cup — the first for RSL since 2009 — and Arango looks forward to the "beautiful journey" that lies ahead for the Claret and Cobalt.

Most recent Real Salt Lake stories

Related topics

Real Salt LakeSports
Caleb Turner covers Real Salt Lake as the team's beat writer for, in addition to his role where he oversees the sports team's social media accounts.


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast