for this game

New acquisitions shine as Salt Lake downs Wizards

Aug 30, 2007 - 4:30 AM By Chris Bellamy PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Real Salt Lake might want to scout talent in Argentina more often.

The Argentinian trio of Matias Mantilla, Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola made its presence felt Wednesday night, accounting for two goals and an assist as Salt Lake upended the Kansas City Wizards, 3-1.

Mantilla, a 26-year-old defender RSL picked up from Defensores de Belgrano, put his new team on the board almost immediately. Mantilla headed in a corner kick from Morales, who was making his MLS debut, at the 40-second mark for the quickest goal in team history.

"I looked over in the corner, like I do always, hoping that the ball gets to me," Mantilla said. "It came and I put my head on it and it went in. I've never made a goal so quickly in a game."

With just a one-goal cushion near the end of the first half, Espindola got in on the action, drilling a left-footed laser just inside the left post from 20 yards out to give RSL a rare 2-0 edge.

"We knew the central defender (Mantilla) was a solid player," Kansas City coach Curt Onalfo said. "We had watched enough of Espindola to know that he was a good player, and we didn't know Morales. I thought they played a fairly good first half and I thought we played a really good second half."

The three Argentinians, all signed within the month, combined for three points to help form a surprisingly aggressive attack for Salt Lake. The club outshot the Wizards, 17-10, and the team's three goals were a season high.

"All three of them had very, very good games," RSL coach John Kreis said of his new trio. "All three of them contributed in ways other than the goals. All three of them showed that they had special ability. It's obviously exciting to see where it can go from here."

Kansas City's Eddie Johnson cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 69th minute, driving his 13th goal - good for second in the league - past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

But for once, Salt Lake did not fold down the stretch. In fact, the team extended its lead in rather unusual fashion.

Veteran Andy Williams put the finishing touches on the win in the 85th minute, scoring from nearly midfield to give RSL a 3-1 advantage. It was his first goal of the season.

"I knew it was going to get over, but I thought it was going to swerve," Williams said. "But at the last minute, it kind of straightened up."