By TYLER GRAY
It only took sixteen seconds for Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales to score his first goal on Sunday, and when the dust finally settled, he had secured a hat trick to make his goal-less drought a distant memory.
Morales’ three goals, and a goal apiece from Luke Mulholland and Alvaro Saborio, helped RSL secure a 5-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
RSL scored just 16 minutes after kickoff when Morales tried a chip from 22 yards out. It seemed like Houston ‘keeper, Tally Hall, saw it late and the shot floated into the goal giving the visitors a dream start.
Morales doubled his tally just 16 minutes later off a corner kick. Grabavoy headed the entry ball towards the goal where Morales got a boot to it to steer it past Hall and into the net. Alvaro Saborio contributed a goal of his own in the 32nd minute, heading in a pinpoint cross from midfielder Luke Mulholland.
Morales would secure his hat trick in the 89th minute after a penalty was called on Houston ‘keeper Tally Hall for grabbing at RSL forward Devon Sandoval’s leg. Morales stepped to the spot, got Hall guessing the wrong way and slotted it home.
There was a lot of action in the first 45 minutes of the match. Four total goals were scored as well as a red card being shown to Houston midfielder Servando Carrasco. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was also able to save a penalty kick, stopping the ball with his knee as Giles Barnes’ shot was straight down the middle. Heading into the break RSL up a man and leading 3-1 over the Dynamo.
Houston came out of the break with a lot of energy, pressuring RSL all over the field and forcing a number of sloppy turnovers. Sherrod’s goal in the 56th minute made things very interesting for the next 22 minutes until Mulholland stretched the lead back to two.
It’s easy to get lost in Morales’ hat trick and the historic win in Houston, but Houston rookie Mark Sherrod scored the first two goals of his MLS career in place of the injured Will Bruin. Sherrod was active all night giving RSL’s backline all it could handle for 90 minutes.
RSL and head coach Jeff Cassar are still undefeated, sitting at 5-0-5 and 20 points. They will return home to face the Colorado Rapids next weekend. The Dynamo play host to the LA Galaxy next Saturday.