Real Salt Lake's four-year investment in Fabian Espindola has been in place for only six games, yet the return has been instantaneous.
The Argentine striker claimed his third goal of the season Saturday night, a game-clinching effort in a dominant 2-0 victory against visiting Colorado at Rio Tinto Stadium.
With the goal, Espindola, who split the last two Rapids defenders and beat goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 57th minute, tied former RSL forward Robbie Findley for the most MLS goals in team history, with 29.
"I had a couple chances, then got a goal, which was great for me," Espindola said. "The group did an excellent job. [Colorado] couldn't get through our defense. It was awesome because our game Wednesday was so bad."
Espindola's effort was tainted only slightly with a near handball. Espindola, who pounced on his chance, chested the ball, which caromed off a Colorado defender and back onto Espindola's left arm. The ball then dropped to the ground in perfect striking position.
"It was unintentional," Espindola said. "It happened so fast."
As for tying Findley, there's little doubt that more goals are sure to come. The same is true of Espindola's strike partner Alvaro Saborio, who scored the game's first goal.
The two have combined for 44 MLS goals in their three seasons together.
"I know if I was on the other team, I wouldn't want to defend against them," said RSL defender Tony Beltran, whose pinpoint curling pass set up Saborio perfectly for the goal in the 20th minute.
No doubt, the striker inside RSL coach Jason Kreis was pleased with the offensive output. His practical side highlighted other efforts.
"I was overly pleased with their defensive effort," Kreis said. "The number of times they came back to the midfield was critical. And when they're that in tune â¦ we almost always get results."