Chivas USA did exactly what they needed to do Saturday, beating Real Salt Lake 1-0 on a 72nd minute Alecko Eskandarian goal and moving above their opponents to take second place in the Western Conference.
Somewhat of a comedy routine gave the former Real Salt Lake striker the winner over his old team: Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and defender Nat Borchers collided and the ball bounced past them to Eskandarian, who gratefully accepted the gift that was his third goal of the season.
“We got a fortunate goal,” said Chivas USA Coach Preki. “This year luck hasn’t been on our side too often, so tonight we’ll take it. It’s that time of year that we’ll take the points, it doesn’t matter how they come.”
*The win means Chivas USA holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over RSL in the event the teams finish level on points.
*Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein suffered a concussion in the first half and was replaced by former Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine, who made his debut for the club.
*Enforcer Jesse Marsch made his first appearance for Chivas USA since sustaining a fractured jaw Aug. 14 against the Galaxy when he entered the game as a 66th minute sub for Ante Razov.
*The third largest crowd in RSL history – 26,391 – took in the final game at Rice-Eccles Stadium before the team moves next month into its new home in Sandy.
*Next for Chivas USA Saturday: the Kansas City Wizards when at Manhattan Beach Night “city leaders will be greeted by Manhattan Beach resident Jesse Marsch and a special ‘Parade of Champions’ will give soccer-loving kids from Manhattan Beach the opportunity to walk around the field before the game.”