Brad Davis scored three goals in the second half for his first career hat trick to lead the Houston Dynamo past Chivas USA, 4-0, Thursday night at Robertson Stadium.
Both teams went into the game with three-game winning streaks, but the Dynamo prevailed to move ahead of Chivas into second place in the Western Conference, three points behind leader FC Dallas, which has played two more games. Despite the absence of four starters in Chicago for the USA-Canada Gold Cup semifinal -- Brian Ching and Ricardo Clark for the USA and Pat Onstad and Dwayne De Rosario for Canada -- Dynamo dominated the game.
Brian Mullan gave Houston the lead in the sixth minute with a shot inside the right post. Davis scored three times in 20 minutes in the second half -- the first with a drive on an angled shot from the left side, the second on a first-time shot from the top of the box and the third from the penalty spot.
The hat trick was the fourth of the season, matching the MLS total for the entire 2006 campaign. All of the hat tricks have been scored by Americans. Eddie Johnson had two for Kansas City before departing for the Gold Cup, and Ben Olsen had the first three-goal game of his career for D.C. United 12 days ago.
For Chivas USA, the game turned in the 66th minute with the score still only 2-0. First, Frenchman Laurent Merlin was denied by the crossbar, then Jamaican Shavar Thomas was ejected was taking down Joseph Ngwenya.
June 21 in Houston
Houston 4 Chivas USA 0. Goals: Mullan 6, Davis (Barrett) 55, Davis (Ngwenya, Holden) 70, Davis pen. 75.
Houston - Wells, Waibel, Cochrane, Robinson (Ianni, 76), Barrett, Holden, Gray, Mulrooney, Davis (Ashe, 76), Mullan (Wondolowski, 84), Ngwenya.
Chivas USA - Guzan, Zotinca, Suarez, Thomas, Perez, Kljestan (Taylor, 60), Marsch (Hernandez, 69), Nagamura, Mendoza, Galindo, Razov (Merlin, 60).
Yellow Cards: Houston - Robinson 60; Chivas USA - Nagamura 22.
Red Card: Chivas USA - Thomas 66.
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez.