D.C. United delivered a massive blow to its mini slump. Bouncing back in style from a two-game skid, the Black-and-Red overcame the Colorado Rapids, 4-2, in a victory featuring several bright individual performances and a statement team effort.
“It was huge,” Assistant Coach Chad Ashton said. “You’re going into this difficult stretch, and you don’t want to start it with a third loss in a row. We’ve preached all year that, ‘Hey, we're going to have a loss here and there, but let’s keep the streaks to a minimum.’ We’ve done a good job of keeping those small.”
Fabián Espíndola and Luis Silva put together another superb outing together at the front of the United attack. Silva had his second multi-goal game of the year, opening United’s account on the night and answering Colorado’s game-tying goal. Espíndola netted his eighth of the season, which put the game away for good.
“I thought the partnership was great,” Ashton said. “They have a good understanding of each other. They know where the other one is at all times. They know what each other’s strengths are, and they play to those strengths. They were both very dangerous the entire night, and obviously it shows up in the box score.”
“It’s infectious throughout the team that you have that honesty and you have that hard work,” said Ashton. “When you see a guy like [Rolfe], who’s a great veteran in this league, want to go that extra mile for you then you want to do it for that guy. It’s infectious, and I think when you have those real positive habits, it carries over to everyone else.”
Kemp also made dramatic strides in his second start of the season, assisting on Silva’s first goal with a great straight ball into his path, as well as on Rolfe’s goal in which he found the energy in the 81st minute to streak 75 yards down the left side before delivering the perfect pass.
“He looked like a different guy tonight,” Ashton said. “He looked super confident and played really well. He had two assists, he was aggressive defensively and never let his guy get set and run at him. The more the young guys can get on the field and get some confidence, they are just going to get better and better.”
United’s swift momentum swing, for individual players and the squad as a whole, is perfectly timed ahead of next weekend’s battle for the top of the Eastern Conference at Sporting Kansas City.
“We took care of our business at home,” Ashton said. “Now we can go on the road and try to figure out how to get some points at KC.”