Arango bags 2nd hat trick to pull within goal of RSL season record in 5-1 win over Austin


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SANDY — The peak power of a Chicho Arango-led Real Salt Lake squad was on full display Saturday at America First Field.

The Colombian striker got his second hat trick of the season in a 5-1 win over Austin FC to put him one goal short of Alvaro Saborio's regular season record of 17 goals in Claret and Cobalt. Anderson Julio added a brace to reach four goals in four games.

Arango got the party started in the 16th minute on a Hail Mary from midfield that floated just over the keeper and into the goal. Funny enough, that same keeper forced a delayed start to the match with complaints that the goal's crossbar was uneven and needed adjusting.

That goal alone — which many on social media were quick to call the goal of the year — would have been enough excitement most nights at AFF, but Arango followed it up with another goal just before halftime to go along with two from Julio for a 4-0 lead at the break.

A VAR check in the 71st minute on a handball in the box cleared an Austin goal off the board and gave RSL a penalty, which Arango converted to complete his hat trick.

Austin pulled one back in second-half stoppage time on a penalty of their own to get some consolation.

Despite the dominant win, there was little celebration and no complacency for the No. 1 team in the West and the MLS leader in goal differential at plus-17.

"We haven't won anything yet," was the common refrain from Arango and head coach Pablo Mastroeni.

"I think every game from here on out is gonna be very difficult," Mastroeni said. "I think teams are going to prepare for us differently than they used to in the past. And so the onus is on us to be one step ahead."

The Claret and Cobalt have a two-week break before playing three matches in eight days starting June 15, including two on the road in Montreal and Kansas City before a homecoming at AFF against the LA Galaxy on June 22.

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

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