Upon further review: United 4, FC Dallas 1

Upon further review: United 4, FC Dallas 1
April 27, 2014, 11:00 am
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A result like Saturday’s 4-1 win over FC Dallas was coming for D.C. United.  Even through a slow build to start the season, United’s quality and experience was evident. At first it was on paper and now it is blossoming on the field.

With the victory United at 3-2-2 has matched its win total from a season ago. The four goals were United’s largest output in a single game since August 2012. The goal explosion happened with Dallas playing the final 51 minutes a man down after a second yellow card to defender Zach Loyd.

It should be noted that scoring with a man-advantage is easier in theory. There are plenty of examples of teams reduced in numbers that still found a way to at least a point or a victory. United should be given full credit for finding the spaces and ultimately the goals.

Conclusions:

  1. Johnson didn’t score, but he didn’t have to. Until Eddie Johnson breaks through and finds the back of the net he will continue to be under a goal watch.  He didn’t forget how to score and he will.  Johnson’s presence is drawing defenders to him and opening space. He needs to create more opportunities, but his precise as a laser cross to the back post was headed home by Fabian Espindola to tie the game at 1-1 just before halftime.
  2.  Fabi’s no fad.  When United went its first two weeks of the season without a goal, we noted the history of Johnson and Espindola in scoring goals. History is not always a guarantee of the future, but Johnson and Espindola are in their prime of their careers. Espindola is in a good place. He is making the runs to be dangerous and with two goals last night has four on the season.
  3. Midfield continues to shine. An injury to Luis Silva forced United to move Davy Arnaud into the middle. Silva was back last night and was used as a substitute. After a slow start to the season Nick De Leon is forcing the issue and using his 1-v-1 skills to unlock defenses. On the other flank Chris Rolfe is showing why United made a move to acquire him from Chicago and he earned the assist on Espindola’s second goal.
  4. The edge. United said it was angry about conceding a goal and only getting one point from last week’s game against Columbus. It backed up that talk and after a slow start against Dallas played like a team fighting for a playoff spot and not just an April victory.

[RELATED: Espindola scores 2 as United beat Dallas, 4-1

Final word from Ben Olsen:

“It is a good group. And, as I said before, they are hungry. I think a lot of these guys have something to prove, for one reason or the other. I have something to prove and our staff has something to prove, so hopefully we can continue on this run. We have a tough match next week going to the West Coast against a good Portland team. Obviously, their record isn’t showing it right now, but they are still a very good team, so we are looking forward to the next challenge.”