Patrick Mullins returned to the scoresheet in style, scoring four goals in a 31-minute stretch in the second half to lead the Black-and-Red to a shutout victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK on Saturday, Sept. 23.
In the first half, the Black-and-Red controlled possession and created the majority of the chances. Early on, Mullins' header was flicked right into the path of an onrushing Paul Arriola, whose shot off the half volley was saved by Tarbell, who got down low to his right. Later, Marcelo cut back on his right foot just outside the area and unleashed a right-footed shot from the top of the box only to have his effort parried away by Tarbell.
Halfway through the first half, Steve Birnbaum pushed up the right side of defense and played a beautiful cross-field pass to Chris Korb, whose inswinging cross was met perfectly by Russell Canouse about ten yards from goal, but caromed off the left upright. After a flurry of chances, United went into the locker room at halftime all square.
United's number 16 became the 11th player in MLS history to score four goals in a match and was the fastest ever to complete the feat. After opening the scoring early in the second half with a well-timed run to the near post and tapping home Paul Arriola's low cross, the former Maryland Terrapin went on to score three more times, sealing the victory for Ben Olsen's side on Armed Forces Night.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark made his first start as a member of United and recorded his 23rd career MLS shutout, while Sean Franklin made his 100th appearance for the Black-and-Red.
The Black-and-Red now hit the road for a short turnaround, first playing the Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J., on Wednesday before traveling to Columbus on Saturday, Sept. 30.