D.C. United appeared, at least temporarily, to have learned the lessons of Wednesday's inglorious 2-2 draw against Chivas USA, as they saw out a 4-0 win over a Real Salt Lake team that had been well and truly beaten by halftime after Dwayne De Rosario's first-half hat trick, officially confirmed by the Elias Sports Bureau as the fastest from kick-off in MLS history (31 minutes).
The result was emphatic, but it was not enough to move D.C. United into the MLS playoff places, as New York's 2-0 home win over Portland kept United on the outside looking in. However, the Black-and-Red still hold two games in hand over Hans Backe's men.
After their resident MVP candidate had put them in an impregnable position before halftime, the home side pressed for more goals after the break. Andy Najar could have scored a second five minutes into the second half, but miskicked his attempt badly. Four minutes later, Stephen King had a try from distance. His shot sailed over the crossbar, but only just. An ideal way to top off the night would have been a goal for Joseph Ngwenya, but his 68th minute attempt from a tight angle was well saved by Nick Rimando.
Real Salt Lake had managed a couple good chances for the break. Nat Borchers saw one headed chance sail wide of the goal, while another was tipped away from the top right corner by Bill Hamid. Arturo Alvarez and Pablo Junior also saw chances miss wide and be saved, respectively. But the visitors showed little enterprise in the second half, with the exception of an 84th-minute attempt by Chris Wingert that sailed just over.
However, Real Salt Lake were able to snatch a consolation goal in the 86th minute when substitute Alvaro Saborio slipped behind the home defense and was found by Paulo Junior. The Costa Rican finished well into the roof of Bill Hamid's net in what was the last significant action of the game.