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Morales' hat trick leads RSL past Houston 5-2

Dynamo rookie forward mark Sherrod celebrates his first professional goal.
Dynamo rookie forward mark Sherrod celebrates his first professional goal.
Lou Roesch

Three goals by Javier Morales led Real Salt Lake to its first ever win at BBVA Compass Stadium. Morale’s hat trick offset a two goal performance by Dynamo rookie forward Mark Sherrod and ended Houston’s short-lived two game winning streak.
RSL (5-0-5) struck before most of the 16, 514 in attendance had settled into their seats. RSL took the opening kick-off straight down the field and Houston left Morales with space just outside the eighteen. The veteran midfielder lofted a shot that floated past Tally Hall into the upper corner just fifteen seconds into the match.
“It’s unfortunate I think Morales having time to face the goal isn’t an ideal situation, he takes a shot, it takes a defection and kind of floats kind of weirdly and finds its way into the back corner,” described a dejected Tally Hall said following the game.
Seventeen minutes later, Morales struck again redirecting a corner kick past Hall and a 2-0 RSL lead.
Five minutes later Sherrod would score his first professional goal in his first MLS start cutting the deficit in half. Dynamo captain Brad Davis served a corner into the box and the rookie forward who holds the Memphis University scoring record tuck home a left-footer and Houston was on the board. Davis assist mark his sixth straight game with either a goal or an assist.
In the 27th minute, referee Allen Chapman whistled Dynamo midfielder Servando Carraasco for a red card in what appeared to be clean take away and changed the complexion of a close game.
Alvaro Saborio wasted little time punishing the Dynamo. The Costa Rican midfielder who owns the highest scoring goal rate in MLS history notched his 57th career goal in his 106th game giving RSL a two goal lead heading into halftime.
Moments later RSL defender Aaron Maund took down Houston’s David Horst on a corner kick and the men in orange had an opportunity to cut the deficit to one. RSL netminder Nic Rimando guessed right and stoned Houston’s Giles Barnes from the spot holding the game at 3-1.
“Disappointing day we got off to the worst possible start in the first minute there and things kind of went downhill from there,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
Playing their third game in nine days and without the services of Will Bruin, the Dynamo came out pushing the tempo in the second half and the effort paid off when Sherrod drilled a short side shot passed Rimando in the 56th minute.
It was as close as the Dynamo would get as RSL would get a 71st minute goal from Luke Mulholland before Morales punctuated the win with his third goal from the spot in the 89th minute. The win extended RSL’s unbeaten streak to fourteen games.
For Sherrod and the Dynamo, the rookie’s two goal performance in his first MLS start was little consolation.
“It was great and everything to get a goal and obviously I would of loved to get a victory as well for the ten people who fought really hard,” Sherrod said summing up the match.

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