Chicho scores twice in 4-0 shutout over Chicago

Chicho scores twice in 4-0 shutout over Chicago

CHICAGO (ABC4 Sports) – Chicho Arango scored two more goals to take over the Major League Soccer lead, as Real Salt Lake rolled to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire Saturday night at Soldier Field.

Andres Gomez got the party started with a goal in the 24th minute on a left-footed blast just outside the 18. For Gomez, that was his third goal of the season, and his first since he scored twice against LAFC on March 2nd.

Arango then took over the match with two goals in a four minute span.

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After Federico Navarro intercepted a pass, he tried to play the ball back to goalkeeper Chris Brady. But Arango was quick to pounce on the poor pass, and quickly rocketed a shot past Brady, who had no chance whatsoever to give RSL at 2-0 lead.

Then in the 37th minute, Bryan Oviedo’s corner kick found an unmarked Arango at the far end of the net, and Chicho headed in his eighth goal of the season to take over the MLS lead. RSL took a commanding 3-0 lead into the half.

Arango scored six goals in 18 matches for Real Salt Lake last season, and already has eight goals in just nine games this season.

It stayed that way until stoppage time, when second half substitute Diego Luna finally scored his first goal of the season in the 93rd minute after going scoreless his his first seven games of the 2024 season. Luna, who scored four times his his final five games of the 2023 season, found a huge hole in the porous Chicago defense and booted home his first goal just inside the 18.

“I think it’s just a barometer of where we’re currently at,” RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “I don’t think it’s anything more than that. It’s a testament to the to the work the guys do during the week. I’m very glad we have guys step in there and get the best result of the season away from home. I think that speaks volumes about every aspect of the team. I think that the most important is the mentality to not to not look at what you don’t have, but really thrive on what’s in front of us and doing the best we can as a group.”

RSL dominated the run of play all game long, getting off 16 shots, seven on frame. Chicago managed 12 shots, five on goal, but Gavin Beavers made five saves for his first shutout in his second start of the season in place of Zac MacMath. RSL was without injured starting defenders Justen Glad and Brayan Vera.

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“We’ve got a good game plan coming in, obviously, where we’re dealing with a couple injuries with the backline.” Beavers said. “But every day everybody does what they’re supposed to do, and everybody stepped up. The backline was massive tonight. Getting a shutout was great here, and I think this is a testament to how hard working we are and how good of a group we are.”

The four goals is the most Real Salt Lake has scored since July 8, 2023 when the team shut out Orlando by the same 4-0 score.

Real Salt Lake improves to 4-2-3 on the season, and will next play at Philadelphia Saturday, April 27.

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