DC United stretched Sporting Kansas City’s winless run to five on Saturday night thanks to a superb effort from the in-form Fabian Espindola. We take a look at what we learnt from the match:
1. Fabian Espindola’s goal.
Whether he meant is or not, it was still a superb effort. It could have quite easily have been a cross, meant for Eddie Johnson, but it ended up in the top corner. So he’d probably say he meant it.
Espindola has been sensational for DC so far this season and added his seventh on Saturday. The longer he can sustain his brilliance, the easier it will be for fans to get frustrated with Johnson. EJ needs goals and fast, with them both firing, they could win the title.
2. Erik Palmer-Brown was better.
The 17-year-old centre-half marked his debut a few weeks ago by giving away a penalty and receiving a red card, but was much better on Saturday despite his side’s loss.
A raw talent with bags of potential, he will need to adapt quickly to the expectations of the Champions quickly as they are missing their defensive leader, Matt Besler, who is away with the USMNT at the World Cup.
3. DC love a red card.
In the last four matches, DC has managed to notch up 3 suspensions, one of them being retrospective and the other two straight reds. Two of these suspensions were Eddie Johnson.
Alex Caskey picked up a straight red in the final seconds, despite only being on the pitch for a matter of minutes, and they will need to cut this out sooner rather later if they are to continue their charge for the Eastern Conference title.
4. Eddie Johnson needs goals!
At this point we’re not sure how much longer he can go without a goal. He seems to have all the hunger and desire to score but no luck.
His one goal won’t be enough either; he will need to add more and either a brace or a run of games with goals will make the difference in his fortunes, just so he knows he can score. He did however; open up the SKC defence a few times with some clever runs.
5. What happened to Dom Dwyer?
He was playing, just in case you weren’t sure, but failed to score in his second straight game. We saw glimpses of the poacher we know he is on Saturday night but he just isn’t getting the service without Graham Zusi playing.
Two scoreless games shouldn’t worry him too much, but it’s not what SKC need right now, as they haven’t won a game in five outings now, and Dwyer will need to get back to carrying the team going forward.
Highlighs via MLS on YouTube: