Carson, Calif. • Well, it is Father’s Day, after all.
New daddy Fabian Espindola scored twice for Real Salt Lake against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night, leading the team to a 3-0 victory and giving him three goals in the last three games — two of them, game-winners — since his son was born last month.
“It’s going good,” he said with a shrug.
That’s putting it mildly.
Espindola’s pair of goals moved him into the team lead with forward Alvaro Saborio with six this season — he’s also the all-time RSL leader with 32 regular-season goals in Major League Soccer — though Saborio probably should have had another one against Chivas.
Alas, his strike in the 35th minute was waved off when the linesman called him offside.
That left Espindola to shoulder the load, and he was more than up to the challenge.
His first goal came in the 35th minute, on a play that started with midfieler Jonny Steele intercepting a goalkeeper throw and feeding midfielder Kyle Beckerman for a long, pinpoint pass — “a very good ball,” Espindola said — that Espindola headed past keeper Dan Kennedy.
Then, in the 54th minute, Espindola cut back toward the middle on former teammate Rauwshan McKenzie to create room for a shot that beat Kennedy from the right side, though he said that wasn’t based on anything he’d learned about McKenzie while playing with him for RSL.
“Nah,” Espindola said. “When you’re on the field, you try stuff. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.”
Coach Jason Kreis was certainly pleased.
He agreed with midfielder Ned Grabavoy’s assessment during the week that Espindola had been especially sharp in training.
“I’m glad to see that translate into the game, because it doesn’t always,” Kreis said. “Sometimes you see … players light things up on the training field, and then the game time comes, and they don’t. So, really pleased that he reaped the benefits of all his hard work.”