Valentin Castellanos scored his first-ever MLS performance with four goals on Sunday afternoon as he guided New York City FC to a 6-0 win over Real Salt Lake.
The goals were the first four of the season for Castellanos.
Castellanos’ second and third goals came from penalties for defending MLS Cup champions NYCFC (2-3-1, 7 points) who had suffered two losing streaks in MLS.
Thiago Andrade scored his second and third goals of the season for City in the first game since losing 4-2 in two games in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals to Seattle Sounders. After a 3-1 defeat in Seattle, New York drew 1-1 at home on Wednesday night.
Santiago Rodriguez added two assists in NYCFC’s second 6-0 win in club history, one that also marked RSL’s worst loss yet.
Salt Lake (3-2-3, 9 points) is now winless in their last four games (0-2-2) after being surpassed 22-12 on aggregate and 12-5 in shots on goal.
The 23-year-old Castellanos scored 19 goals and provided eight assists in the 2021 regular season to win the MLS Golden Boot, then added three more goals in a postseason that culminated in NYCFC’s first MLS Cup triumph.
But after a widely anticipated off-season overseas move didn’t materialize, the Argentine has been frustrated in league play so far, despite scoring three goals in New York’s now-ended CCL campaign.
That frustration ended just nine minutes into Sunday’s competition. He slipped past defending Tate Schmidt and hammered a solid header from Rodriguez’s corner past goalkeeper Zac MacMath to open the scoring.
After Andrade’s first 2-0 in the 15th minute, Castellanos converted his first penalty in the 40th minute. Schmidt hit Keaton Parks in the face with a heel in the box to set up the opportunity.
Andrade scored his second goal 10 minutes after half-time, and Castellanos scored his third in the 57th minute after drawing a second penalty himself.
He ended his career day – and the 14th four-goal game in MLS history – when he caught a bad MacMath pass in the 80th minute and sent a deflected shot wide of the goalkeeper.
The MLS record five goals was set by the Dallas Burn’s Clint Mathis in 2000.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/17/valentin-castellanos-scores-4-goals-as-nycfc-tops-salt-lake/ Valentin Castellanos scores 4 goals as NYCFC leads Salt Lake