Luis Gil, Joao Plata, Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio all found the back of the net as RSL widened its lead in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
“Obviously, it was a fantastic start with two goals in the first fifteen minutes," said head coach Jason Kreis. "The tempo, the play in the first half, what we were able to do to get at them early on – it changed the whole landscape of the match. Interestingly enough, the played with three defenders at the beginning, which I think had some tactical consequences.”
Gil got the party started with his 5th goal of the season in just in the 9th minute of the contest. He was set up by a brilliant heel pass by Plata.
Six minutes later, Plata scored his 3rd goal of the year on a tough angle past Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
After Portland cut the deficit to 2-1 at halftime, RSL assumed control of the match on one of the most spectacular goals of the season. After Ben Semansky was cited for a red card, leaving Portland a man down, Morales caught a deflection off a corner kick and and blasted in his 7th goal of the year on a beautiful bicycle kick.
“It was a perfect corner kick from Plata," Morales said. "I think my first touch wasn’t good. So the ball goes up and Sabo told me, “Leave it! Leave it!” but I was there and I was thinking to do the bicycle and lucky for me I scored.”
Saborio added his team-leading 10th goal of the season in the 67th minute to put the game out of reach.
Real Salt Lake improves to 14-8-6, and with 48 points leads Montreal by six points for the best overall record in MLS with six games to play.
“We have had similar opportunities a lot of times this year," said midfielder Ned Grabavoy. "Obviously, we are at the top of the table now, but we were in some good positions there to put a little bit of space between ourselves and a few of the other teams. So it was good to finally do that because in some other situations we haven’t cashed in on that opportunity.”
RSL next hits the field September 13th at Seattle.