Fabian Espindola vs Dallas goal celebration
Tony Quinn

Fabian Espindola driven by passion

He was the man of the match last weekend. FC Dallas couldn’t contain him, and it led to two goals and an assist.

“It was an even game until the red card,” D.C. United forward Fabián Espíndola recalled. “The field is huge. Playing one man down is difficult. That was the difference for me; there was just too much space to play.”

Having that space is Espíndola’s bread and butter. With Eddie Johnson playing high, he normally floats underneath or roams out wide.

“[On other teams] I didn’t have this kind of freedom. It feels good. I know I can help the team. I can defend; I can go forward. It’s nice to have the guys and the coaches trust me,” Espíndola said.

At the beginning of the season, Head Coach Ben Olsen expressed that Espíndola had to trust his teammates more; he needed to work with them. While his teammates are definitely putting an immense amount of trust in him, Espíndola is starting to reciprocate.

“Ben was right,” he said. “I wasn’t touching the ball too much. Once I got the ball, I wanted to do something myself. I’m just trying to play simple now, and when I have the chance, go one on one and do something for the team.”

Eddie Johnson is one of the teammates he is beginning to trust more on the field. The pair works well together, with Johnson staying high and the crafty-Espíndola floating underneath.

“He’s playing great right now,” Espíndola stated. “He’s winning every ball. He’s holding every ball. When he jumps, he wins everything, and I can run after that. The fact that he didn’t score yet, doesn’t mean he is playing bad. He is helping me a lot. The ball that he played the other day, it was great.”

Johnson’s cross was superb, and Espíndola’s finish to even the score was great. After the ball found the back of the net, he sprinted to the supporters’ side and celebrated, sporting a rare smile.

Last week, Bobby Boswell told the Washington Post that Espíndola “plays angry” and Olsen said “he has a fire in his belly.” Upon hearing this, the Argentine laughed, then returned to his serious demeanor.

“It’s who I am. You can call it passion,” he explained. “I really love this game. It’s my job. I love what I do. It feels great when we win. It feels like [expletive] when we lose.”