[MLS] Soccer America introduces Saturday's Three Stars. Each week it will honor the three stars of Saturday's MLS action. This week's No. 1 Star is Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales, who had two goals and an assist in the defending champion's 3-0 demolition of the San Jose Earthquakes. For more on Morales' exploits and and Saturday's other stars ...
1. Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake).
Defending champion Real Salt Lake got two brilliant goals and an assist from Morales in its 3-0 win at San Jose. Morales opened the scoring with a blast from 35 yards and finished the scoring with a curling free kick from 20 yards following the ejection of Chris Leitch. On the other goal, Morales played a ball into the path of countryman Fabian Espindola. Quakes defender Jason Hernandez got a foot on the ball, but it bounced off Espindola's chest and into his path to chip goalie Joe Cannon. The two goals surpassed Morales' output in 2009. After scoring seven goals in his debut season, he only scored once last year.
2. Ryan Smith (Kansas City Wizards).
The 23-year-old Englishman, making his MLS debut, was a terror all over the field in Kansas City's 4-0 win over D.C. United. He was involved in the first three goals and almost set up a fourth goal, Jimmy Conrad's shot off the crossbar. On the Wizards' first goal, D.C. goalie Troy Perkins could only parry Smith's blast, allowing Kei Kamara to score. Surrounded by three D.C. defenders at the top of the area, Smith fed Davy Arnaud for the second goal. He scored the third goal himself, putting away another ball Perkins could not hold on to. Unfortunately, Smith had to leave the game in the 81st minute with an ankle injury.
3. Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls).
It's getting to be a routine for Lindpere. The Estonian international had the first goal in the Red Bulls' first game at Red Bull Arena, a 3-1 win over Santos, and he had the first and lone goal in the Red Bulls' first MLS game at Red Bull Arena, a 1-0 victory over Chicago. Unlike the balmy temperatures for the Santos game, temperatures hovered around freezing for the MLS opener, just the kind of weather Lindpere is used to. “I hope it stays like this,” said Lindpere, who was signed from Norwegian club Tromso. “Just kidding.” In addition to his goal in the 40th minute, Lindpere worked hard throughout the game in midfield.